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H 245 x W 175 mm

186 pages

Illustrated throughout in colour and black & white

Published Jun 2018

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784917562

Digital: 9781784917586

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Stone carved crosses; monuments; Christianity; Early Medieval; Viking; Manx; Isle of Man; Britain

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Manx Crosses: A Handbook of Stone Sculpture 500-1040 in the Isle of Man

By David M. Wilson

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This is the first general survey of the carved stone crosses of the Isle of Man (late 5th to mid-11th century) for more than a century, providing a new view of the political and religious connections of the Isle of Man in a period of great turmoil in the Irish Sea region. The book also includes an up-to-date annotated inventory of the monuments.



CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to the Island; CHAPTER 2 Early stones and sacred sites; CHAPTER 3 The Monastery at Maughold and pre-Scandinavian monuments in the Island; CHAPTER 4 The cusp of the Scandinavian settlement of the Isle of Man; CHAPTER 5 The stone sculpture of the Scandinavian settlement; Chapter 6 The Scandinavian runic inscriptions; Bibliography & Suggested Reading; Appendix: A hand-list of the Manx Crosses

About the Author

David M. Wilson, Director of the British Museum from 1977-1992, is a leading authority on the Viking Age and has written a number of studies of the art and archaeology of the Anglo-Saxon period and the Viking Age in their Northern European context. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and lives in the Island.


‘In his book, David Wilson discusses the emergence, zenith, and decline of Manx crosses in six stimulating chapters, supported by a comprehensive list of sites and that all-important index. He clearly shows that major influences were brought to bear over the 600-year period, initially by early Christian missionaries, followed by Picts, and finally Vikings. His book is the first comprehensive survey to be undertaken for over a century, and provides invaluable context to their origins and use at a time when, politically, the Irish Sea (province) was experiencing great upheaval. This is a must-read for scholars interested in the religious iconography of the early medieval period.’ – George Nash (2019): Current Archaeology #339

‘We have needed this book: an authoritative and holistic introduction to the Isle of Man’s early medieval sculpture. From the book’s Preface we get a good sense of just how hard-won its contents have been for the ‘retired’, eminent Viking scholar Sir David Wilson, who long ago made the Isle of Man his home… Throughout, Wilson draws effectively on his extensive knowledge of the early medieval, particularly Scandinavian world, to situate the Manx story, as revealed through its sculpture, in its Irish Sea and wider European context.’Sally Foster (2019): Archaeological Journal, DOI: 10.1080/00665983.2019.1590955