[From Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 3 pp629/633
P. M. C. KERMODE, F. S. A. Scot., &c.
In the course of the extensive alterations recently made to the Parish Church at Maughold (in the Autumn of 1900), no fewer than twelve carved stones or fragments were brought to light. Of these, one was the missing shaft of an early Cross of which I had some years ago found the head in the Churchyard,; one was the lintel over the doorway, of which one face had been partly exposed though not previously figured, and one the lintel over the east window, figured as to one face by Cumming, from a rubbing made many years ago by the Rev. S. N. Harrison.
All of these I hope before long to figure and describe at length in my forthcoming work on the subject; in the meantime I submit a short description of them, which I have the pleasure of illustrating with rubbings and full-sized drawings
1.-Fragment of " Maltese " shaped Cross. Found by the south wall of the Church ; a slab now measuring 15in. by 12in. by 2in., shows portion of shaft and limb. The shaft was probably 14in. long and expanded at the end. The remaining arm is 6in., and the head may have been a little longer; so that the original size of the slab would be about 24in. by 13in.
Cf. Crosses at Peel Cathedral, which are ruder and probably of an earlier date-Nos. 32, 33, in my Catalogue, 2nd Ed.
2.-Square equal-limbed Cross, within circle. The last discovered, found in East gable. The stone measures 23in. by 16in. by 2in. to 2½in. Both faces carved. (a) The "circle" is really ovoid and measures 16¾in. by 14¼n. (b) The "circle" measures 17¼in. by 141/8in., and the shaft is 2in. longer than the head, and 2½ in longer than the arms. Shape of Cross as on Corna (49):
3.-Cross pattee within broad circle. Found against the south wall, near the west end, about 6in. below the surface. Stone 21½2in. by 12½in. by 2in. to 2½in. thick. The outer circle measured about 18in. diameter, so that the stone must have been about 22in. or 23in square. In the left hand corner above the circle is the Omega-the first instance in Man of this symbol.
4.-Panel Cross.-Found by Mr Callow near the east end. Fragment measuring 15in. by 13in. by 3in. Remains of pure Celtic Cross, with broad circle, contained within a rectangular panel. Probably the Cross was equal-limbed, in which case the stone must have measured about 21in. If not square the length may have been anything up to 4 or 5 feet.
5.-Broken Cross.-This is the shaft of the Cross No. 51 in Catalogue. Found by north wall just below the surface. The stone originally measured 48in. by about 14in. and 3in. thick. The cross, head 13½in., arms 8¾in. shaft 22½in.
6.-Inscribed Slab (Roman Caps and Minuscule). From the East end of the North wall, about 4 feet below the surface. Measurements, about 27in. by gin. by 2½in.
Hexagonal device within a circle, below which are two crosslets. Around the circle is an inscription, a few letters of which are flaked off. It appears to read- . . . HEITSpLI EppS dE INSVLF, followed by a sign which looks not unlike that for "et." Then, the other way- round- . . . bpaT.
Down either side of both crosslets is a further inscription in the same characters : (FECI) INXPI HOMIHE Crvcis XPI IMAGEHEM (`° I have made") "in the name of Christ an image of the cross of Christ."
The H sign stands here for N. The cross mark at the top. I take to be Chi, but it may read with the letters going the other way round. Note particularly the small " p" in each contracted form of " Christi." Undoubtedly we have here the initials Chi, Rho, as in the Catacombs. Is the F sign at end of " Insul," a form of "a," or of " is" ?
The crosslets have sharply expanding limbs, and end in the rudimentary Rho ; in which respect, as well as in the character of the Roman Capitals, this resembles the stone at. Kirkmadrine, and other early pieces.
For the design, cf. the stone formerly a lintel to a cottage on the green, No. 55, and the Ballakilley stone, recently found by Miss D. Brown.
7 -ANGLIAN RUNES.
This stone was on edge forming the side of a grave near the North West corner of the wall at a depth of about two feet. It measures 44in. by 16in. by 2½in.
One face shows a cross pattee within a circle, below which are three small circles, each containing a similar cross. The limbs of the cross have been decorated with Triquetras. The circle has contained an inscription, of which only a twelfth part now remains. This consists of nine characters in the Anglian runes, which hitherto have not been met with in the Island. They read . . .BLAGC. MAN . A mark between C and M may be a punctuation sign, or does it stand for a? If forming one word this would make a known Anglo-Saxon name-Blacman, Blæcmon, or Blacaman. The characters exactly resemble those on the 7th century Bewcastle Cross, Cumberland, the Frank's Casket, and others of about that period.
For the form of the Cross, cf. Santon, No. 84, which, however, is in relief and much later.
8 -Door Lintel
The stone which for many years has served as a lintel to the west door has been handsomely carved on both faces and edge. It measures 64in. by 10in. by 5in.
A. The face previously exposed shows a Celtic cross occupied by plait-of-four, the shaft terminating in a volute By its side stands a very well-drawn figure of a priest robed. Below are stags and hounds, and a man on horseback.
B. The other face has a similar cross decorated with the peculiar form of loop-plait, hitherto only found on the Bishopscourt stone. There is more spiral work than on the first face, and figures of a boar, as well as of stags and hounds.
C. The edge has a plait-of-three. The other edge, unfortunately, has been partly chipped away.
Measures 68in by 12in. to 16in., and about 5in. thick.
The lintel over the east window had been seen as to one face many years ago, when a rubbing was taken by the Rev. S. N. Harrison and sent to Cumming, who figured it in his book.
The figure is fairly correct, but what Cumming took to be a " lasso" turns out to be the four legs and snout of another beast ; and the two legs of a third. My cast shows very clearly in a panel above, the man with arms a-kimbo and a book on his breast ; by his side a staff.
B. The other face is divided into panels ; the lowest of which is too worn to decipher. The next is occupied with very rudely drawn key-pattern and pellets ; the next with loose plait. The edges were bare.
Evidently the sculptor of the stone I have called Roolwer's Cross had seen, and in some respects followed the designing on this stone, which is to be compared with work in Cumberland, considered by Canon Knowles, Mr Calverley, and other authorities, as British or Cymric in origin
10-Fragment of Circle.
A small piece loin by 6in. by ¾in., flaked and broken off a rectangular slab, which, to judge from the curve of the circle, shows that it must have been over 18in. or 20in. wide; probably it would have been about five feet long.
The quarter of the circle, which connected the limbs, is occupied by a well-drawn plait of three, decorated with a median line.
It was found by Mr Callow in the Church, close to the east window.
11.-Shaft of a Cross.
From foundation of wall at the N.W. corner.
This stone measures 45in by 11in. by 4in., and is handsomely carved on both faces. One shows the "Vertebral" pattern, decorated with a border lire ; the other that form of double-plait with diamond-shaped rings, which we see on the Maughold Cross now in Malew Churchyard, on the large Conchan and some other pieces.
12.-Rune and Ogam Stone.
This measures 14in. square by 2½zin thick ; it was found at a depth of 2 feet about the middle of the north wall.
It has an inscription cut in late runes very similar in character to those cut by John of the Sheep in Corna valley, and reads : WAN BRIST RAISTI Th ASIR RUKUR, "John the Priest writ these runes." Below is given the Runic Alphabet or Futhork, which confirms the author's surmise expressed in Catalogue of Manx Crosses, 1887, that, in the Manx inscriptions, the stung-rune, used generally for E, stands for H. A few inscriptions belonging to another class do use it for E.
Below this Alphabet is another in well-formed Ogams, broken off in the middle,
These stones, therefore, show that Maughold was a Christian cemetery from, probably, the sixth to the thirteenth century, and that the i\lanks sepulchral monuments of that period have been influenced by four distinct schools-the Celtic, Anglian, British, and Scandinavian. Already there have been brought to light at Maughold the large proportion of 36 out of a total in the whole Island of 106 of these venerable monuments ! It is a great pity that a special room is not provided in which they could all be placed safely under cover, and so as to be readily examined by those inter-ested in antiquities, in decorative art, in the early history or Christianity.