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Braddan Cross Slab

Period: Early Medieval

NGR Easting: 236410

NGR Northing: 476810

Description: A fine wheel-headed slab, which bears on one face an equal-limbed cross and a ring with broad borders. The upper limb has a representation of Daniel in the lions’ den. The rest of the cross is filled with complicated plait work. The edges of the ring are decorated with subtly different plaits, and each quadrant contains dog-like animals.

This stone is first recorded in the 1800s when it was described “lying against Braddan church”. It stands 1.7m high and 1m wide and has a tapered base showing that it was originally inserted into a socket stone that allowed it to stand upright.

The slab has been cut to create the outline of a wheel-headed cross. The shaft and rear face of the stone are completely undecorated. This focusses all attention on the round head of the stone which contains an equal-armed cross. The four limbs are connected by two concentric bands of interlace, the space in between filled with four dog-like beasts; the bands and the animal in each quadrant are subtly different from the next.

The upper arm of the cross shows a pair of beasts either side of a human face, and has long been presumed to represent the biblical tale of Daniel in the Lions’ Den. The remaining arms and the centre of the cross are filled with an intricate, multi-strand plait, which in places is slightly irregular.

Other instances of these wheel-headed crosses may be found in neighbouring parishes: Lonan has a near-perfect example (Lonan 73), while a substantially less complete fragment can be seen nearby at Onchan (Onchan 74).

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Site & Monument Type: cross

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: Manx Cross 72

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