Two of the pieces were identified as belonging together and plans were drawn up to build a replica of
what it once looked like. Only a small piece of the ring head of the cross remains, so the team will
study a more complete example at West Kirby to help complete the replica. The reconstructed replica
will show the Viking couple, the woman with pigtails, holding hands with an angel above, hunting and
fighting scenes and what is believed to be the earliest depiction of a jousting contest.
The next phase will be to laser scan the two fragments to create 3D computer models of what still
exists and then digitally recreate the missing sections to produce a model of the complete cross. Dr
Cooper will be responsible for this phase of the plan. Prof White, who carried out research on the
stones in the 1980s, said: 'It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of these carvings. 'The
images on them demonstrate contacts throughout the Viking world of the 10th century, to Ireland, the
Isle of Man and Scotland. 'The depiction of a joust is an extraordinary image familiar from the middle
ages yet here it is 400 years earlier. In contrast, the other side has a tender and touching image of a
couple celebrating their life together and making the transition from pagan to Christian belief.'
He added: 'This was a time of profound change in Viking life that this group of stones captures
forever. They deserve to be more widely known and this project offers an ideal opportunity to create a
spectacular and colourful replica of an outstanding monument'.
With the reconstruction of this remarkable find, plus the original stones on display in the Parish
Church, it is believed schools in the area will benefit and interested parties from around the country
will seek to visit this unique display. 'The late Geoffrey Place, the local historian, first brought these
finds to the attention of the world and the reconstruction and display will be a fitting tribute to his
|Above: Picture taken from the Neston News 22/08/07
|Vikings and as the name suggests is even derived
from old Norse. In the late 20th century the remains
of damaged cross fragments were found in the
basement of Neston parish church.
They were identified as being of Viking origins and of
being part of atleast three separate crosses. Experts
met at the Church of St Mary and Helen in 2007, to
plan the reconstruction of one of the crosses believed
to depict events in the life of a Viking couple who lived
there 1,100 years a go.
The cross certainly dates from the time when the
Wirral peninsula was colonised by Scandinavian
The team, including Neston's town manager Dr Peter
Rossiter, the Reverend Neil Robb, Viking expert
Professor Stephen Harding, Dr Martin Cooper from the
Merseyside Conservation Centre and archaeologist
Professor Roger White, began by inspecting the
fragments which belonged to at least three former
crosses made of local sandstone.