Blog December 28th 2015

The ancient rune-inscribed "Tunwinni Cross" in St. Mary's and St. Michael's Church, Great Urswick.

Another interesting stone dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period is the so called "Tunwinni Cross" in Great Urswick, Cumbria. Dating app. 850 A.D. it has Ango-Saxon runes inscribed on it. It says at much as: 'This cross Tunwinni erected in memory of Torkbred (or Torkhtred) a monument to his son. Pray for his soul. Lyl wrought this'. The runes suggest that there was a literate early Christian community at that time.

Beneath the runes is a panel displaying two clerks, one holds a cross.

There is an argument that Urswick had been the site of a hitherto unidentified Roman fort. Following the departuree of the Romans their monastry was re-used by local people. By the late sith century it was the site of a monastry based on the model of that in use on Iona - a community of Celtic Christian monks.

Despite the dodgy light - it was late October - by enlargening the photos, some more detail might be revealed. Cumbrian churches are worthwile visiting, as this and prior blogs have shown.

Tunwinni cross Great Urswick
Tunwinni cross Great Urswick
Tunwinni cross Great Urswick
Tunwinni cross Great Urswick

Having avoided the maybe too obvious Gosforth Cross, I hope to have given an interesting insight in the Viking Age (and Anglo-Saxon) monuments of Cumbria.

One more for the road ? Well.. then I will take you to another astonishing cross in the New Year. The Irton Cross. From here and now dear readers:

I wish you a spheric Sylvester and Happy, Healthy & Historical 2016 !

Thomas Kamphuis

The Hague, Holland