Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

The RUTHIN Illustrated Magazine To Inform. To Instruct. To Amuse. No. 4. Vol. 1. MAY, 1879. TWO PENCE. ANCIENT CROSSES in the VALE OP CLWZD AND OTHER ECCLESIASTICAL REMAINS. BY THE EEV. ELIAS OW1N, M.A. No. II. Llanynys Cross. This cross, or rather cross head, is built up into the Churchyard wall, and it appears to have been placed in its present position, years gone by, for preservation. The wall in which it stands is that which is between the Vicarage grounds, and the Churchyard. Ivy leaves overgrow the wall, and creep over the cross head, and partially hide it from view. The cross head is hexagonal in form, and a part, which might have been the shaft, or else a portion of the head intended for insertion into a socket, or wall, descends for a considerable distance into the wall, and thus secures this ancient remains in it3 present position. There are figures in relief on either side the slab, and about one and a half inch of the stone is cleared away to form a ground for these projecting figures. The space which is now occupied by the figures is partly filled up with floriated ornamentations alike in design on both sides. Around this space is a border which measures across about 2£ inches, and thus the figures have the appearance of being set in a frame. The border is also ornamented, but the design is not, on account of age, easily made out. The slab is about six and a half inches thick. The total breadth of the hexagonal, including the border, is 25 inches, and the length is about 30 inches. On the side of the slab facing the Church is a rude representation of the crucifixion; and on the other side is a bishop robed in his canon¬ icals. He has his staff in his left hand, and the head of the crozier turns outwards, and this indicates that the Bishop held territoral jurisdic¬ tion ; his right hand is uplifted with two fingers lying on the palm of the hand and three in an upright position and this shews that the bishop is in the act of pronouncing the blessing, These three fingers resemble the druidic marks that are so often to be seen in Eisteddfodic placards, and possibly thir-i form of holding the. fingers, when the benediction is being given, comes down from most ancient pre-christian times. The bishop is robed with mitre, chasuble, stole and maniple, and possibly an alb or surplice. His feet are rather much exposed. He seems to wear a glove on his right hand, or else a close fitting robe is intended to be represented by the line drawn across the wrist, which robe covers the arm. A peculiar feature in the figure is the extreme length of the face. It could not be ascertained when this cross head was put where it now stands, nor does it appear clearly that it was originally a churchyard cross There are in Cornwall crosses formed of one stone having short shafts and this might have been one of thos9 short shafted crosses, but it is more elaborate than similar Cornish crosses. In company with the Rev. J. Davies, the Vicar of the parish, I took down a portion of the wall to ascertain the depth to which the shaft went into the wall but when we saw that it pene¬ trated it for upwards of seventeen inches we desisted, lest possibly wa might overthrow this curious remain and injure it by a fall. There is very niueh that is greatly interesting in Llanynys Church and possibly at some future time I shall have to revert thereto. The iron work on the porch door is curious, and one part of it has the emblems of the cross thereon, viz. the three nails. Inside the Church is preserved a dog tongs, which in times gone by, when the farmer class frequented the church in company with their dogs, were much used to eject qnarrelsome noisy dogs. This is a curious momento of format- days and is well worthy of preservation. In Scotland there were similar implements in use. The simple collecting ladle of the last century is also kept in Llanynys Church. Altogether the Church is well worthy of a visit by all who admire old places of worship, and feel the soothing influe ice of a lonely well kept churchyard. (To be continued.)