Since the 5th Century AD, crosses have been used in Mann as memorials and grave stones. The majority of the 204 known stones around the Island, remain in the churchyards in their parish of origin. Some stone shelters have been built to protect these amazing relics of the past.
The Celts were the first to lay crosses, with Celtic inscriptions in the written language of Ogham to commemorate the dead. You can find these crosses today in the churchyards of Maughold, Lonan, Braddan and Onchan.
When the Vikings later settled on the island, they brought with them their own sculptors, inscribing in Norse after their earlier conversion to Christianity. These stones often pictured their pagan mythology and can mainly be found in Andreas, Maughold, Jurby, Michael and Braddan.
'The Manx Crosses Illuminated' by Maureen Costain Richards R.B.V
Isleofman.com acknowledges the kind permission given by Maureen
Richards' husband Harold to reproduce illustrations and extracts
from her book, 'The Manx Crosses Illuminated'.
Maureen was an accomplished researcher, author and artist. Her book, along with individually hand-crafted miniature replicas of the Manx crosses in carved slate and hammered pewter, are both collectors' items and much sought after.
In 1986, she was the first recipient of the Manx National Heritage Foundation National Award, the 'Reith Bleeaney Vanannan' Trophy, which translates to 'Manannan's Choice of the Year'.
Sadly, Mrs Richards died in 2004.