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Thorlief Hnakki's Cross Slab

Period: Early Medieval

NGR Easting: 236415

NGR Northing: 476800

Description: This stone was discovered in Old Kirk Braddan churchyard, since when it has been broken in two and restored. The stone takes the form of a pillar, its main faces being only slightly wider than its edges. It is wheel-headed in outline, bearing an equal-limbed cross, the arms of which extend slightly beyond a surrounding ring. The spaces between the limbs and ring are pierced. The crosses on both faces are decorated with interlaced ornament, and the rings with a simple twist.

The shaft, the edges of which are bordered with a plain cable-mould, is decorated on both of the major faces with four dragons, head downwards save for the lowest, which faces the others. They have lizard-like heads and scaly bodies represented by pelleted infill, their tails are elaborately entwined by double bands branching into small spirals and tendrils. One edge is occupied by a single dragon, carved head down, of similar form but without limbs, twisting back and forth and trapped within a band which throws out tendrils at each point of crossing. The ornament is typical of the Scandinavian Mammen art style, dating to the end of the 10th century.

The other edge bears a runic inscription, which has been translated as, 'Thorlief Hnakki erected this cross to the memory of Fiacc his son, brother’s son to Haf.' On the lower quarter of the ring the characters 'Ihsus' appear, partly in runes, partly in Roman capitals.

The striking similarities between this and Odd’s Cross (Manx Cross 136) suggest that they were carved by the same sculptor.

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Site & Monument Type: cross

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: Manx Cross 135


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