The Manx Crosses

Did you know that the carved stone crosses of the Isle of Man show many familiar Viking heroes? Many of these characters have appeared in comic books and you may have seen them appear in your favourite films.  These carvings not only show Viking Gods and Goddesses, but their artwork also tells us about how Christianity was adapted into lives of people who lived on the Island and how their lives changed through the invasion and settlement of Scandinavian people.

Exciting news! Manx National Heritage has worked with partners at Lancaster University, the University of Southampton, and Knowledge Integration  to create 3D digital images of all 210 of the Manx crosses. You can find them all here

Simply click the link and search for Manx Crosses.

Let’s find out more about Odin and Heimdall:




Odin was one of the chief gods of the early people of Scandinavia in northern Europe. These people imagined Odin as an old man with a long beard and only one eye. In the Norse myths the stories recall how Odin gave up the other eye in exchange for wisdom. Other names for Odin include Wotan and Woden. Wednesday (“Woden’s day”) is named for him. Odin has two ravens  called  Huginn meaning ‘thought’ and Muninn meaning ‘memory’. This pair of ravens flew all over our world known as Midgard, and brought back important information back to Odin.



Illustration of Odin by artist Juan Moore




The god Heimdall is famously know for sounding a horn called Gjallarhorn. This is pronounced yahl-lahr-hawrn can you try to say it? His home in the ‘sky cliffs’ above the burning rainbow bridge called Bifröst. Heimdall’s main job is to see into the future whilst keeping watch for invaders and the onset of Ragnarök. Here he watches and listens, holding at the ready the horn, which he sounds when intruders are approaching.

Illustration of Heimdall by Manx artist Juan Moore
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