This amazing cross over 1,000 years old dates from the first half of the 10th century. It is the tallest viking cross in England standing at 14ft tall. The carvings depict various parts of Norse Mythology . The rounded lower part of the Cross represents the ash tree Yggdrasil which the Norse men believed supported the universe.
Three-quarters of the cross-shaft N, W, E and S faces are ornamented with scenes showing Norse gods like Thor, Odin, Loki, Mimir and Heimdallr, all of whom figure strongly in the famous Norse poems of Edda. There are also Christian figures too like Christ crucified and symbolism from the early Christian period.
Thor is depicted fishing for the Midgard serpent Jormungandr, Heimdallr is holding his customary horn, Loki appears chained and bound with his protective wife.
Inside the church are some Hogback grave stones finely carved that are believed to belong to Viking warriors.
The cross is in St Marys church yard in the little village of Gosforth, heading out of the village east towards the Wasdale valley.
In the church yard near the cross you will also see a cork tree. This in the most northernly cork tree in the world.
Photo Credit: Hogback stones- Karl & Ali