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Onchan Cross Slab

Period: Early Medieval

NGR Easting: 239900

NGR Northing: 478200

Description: This broken slab was found in the village. One face shows the remains of a wheel-headed cross, which was carefully proportioned so that the shaft, arms and ring were of similar widths, allowing an interlace to be laid out with great precision. The interlace begins as a multi-stranded plait in the shaft before dividing into the arms and around the ring where the pattern becomes one of twists and rings.

The cross shaft, which would otherwise have been rather narrow, is strengthened by bands which end in volutes and provide at the foot of the shaft a seat for the beast which fills the panel to the right of the shaft. This beast is the most striking feature of this cross slab. Similar to others which are portrayed on several of the Onchan stones, it sits upright, its back against the cross, its spiral-decorated haunch resting on the volute at the foot of the cross shaft. It appears to have a collar, which implies a measure of control, yet its open, tooth-filled mouth and round, staring eye suggest great savagery.

Although fragmentary, there is just enough surviving to show that the beast would have been partnered by another in a similar pose to the left of the shaft.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: cross

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: Manx Cross 93


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