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Pre-Norman Crosses West Cheshire and the Norse Settlements around the Irish Sea

Pre-Norman Crosses West Cheshire and the Norse Settlements around the Irish Sea

By J.D. Bu’Lock

Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, Vol. 68 (1958)

Introduction: Despite some intermingling (mainly in and around the Kingdom of York), the two Scandinavian elements in Britain – Danish and Norse Irish – remained somewhat localized and distinct, a feet which is clearly brought out by the distribution of Viking Age carvings in Cheshire. These fall into two sharply, differentiated groups, distinct both in style and regional distribution and each with different affinities outside the county. The eastern part of Cheshire is dominated by the round-shaft crosses of Mercian dedvation, which we shall not consider here, save to point out that this group had its immediate origin in the Peak District and that in Cheshire its distribution, though easterly, excludes the area of (rather sparse) Danish settlement.

It is with the second, western, group that we shall be concerned here; it comprises carvings fiom Chester and the Wirral, and thowh some individual pieces have been described and the goup itself occasionally referred to, the assembly has never been subjected to detailed analysis. Though the surviving remains de largely fragmentary, the designs of the originals were not unpleasing, and moreover the origins of the group are an interesting testimony of the Viking settlement in Cheshire. Some account of their historical background is therefore desirable.

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