|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1690 Lhuyd, E.|
|History:||Huebner/1876, 22: `Westwood misit; Iohanni Rhys ignotus'.|
Westwood/1879, 1: `It is now for the first time described and figured. It stands in the churchyard of Llandough, near Penarth, near the south-west entrance of the church...the upper part of the shaft and the head of the cross being broken off, and probably, as I was told on the spot, either rolled into the river at the bottom of the hill, or buried in a mound of rubbish on the south side of the churchyard, or broken up for household purposes by the villagers...On my first visit to Llandough in 1845 the block on which the base rests was sunk in the ground, but in 1856 it had been raised'.
RCAHMW/1976, 61--62: `Part of the original cross-head was in situ in the 1690s when the monument was sketched by or for E. Lhuyd'.
|Geology:||Nash-Williams/1950, 134: `Local Sutton stone'.|
|Dimensions:||2.97 x 0.68 x 0.58 (RCHAMW/1976)|
Macalister/1949, 153: `At the eastern side of a pathway in the churchyard'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 136: `Standing in churchyard on S. side of church'.
RCAHMW/1976, 61: `standing in the churchyard of St. Dochdwy's Church'.
Thomas/Holbrook/1996, 73, shows the cross still within the churchyard.
|Form:||Cramp shaft E|
Westwood/1879, 1: `The base and fragment of the shaft of the cross represented in the first Plate of this work must, when complete, have been the most elegant example of the kind in Wales...[it] is about 9 feet in height...The base and shaft are quadrangular, with the angles rounded and forming semicircular columns...The basal block is 13 inches, the base 42 inches, the middle boss 20 inches, and the broken shaft 30 inches high'.
Gardner/1913, advanced the suggestion that the cross shaft was not from a single monument, but was created from pieces of several monuments, argued on the basis of form and decoration. This theory has not found any other adherents (see below).
Anon/1933, 392--393, offers an additional description of the form of this momument.
Macalister/1949, 153--154: `the stump of an elaborately carved tall cross of peculiar form. The theory suggested (1913), that it is a modern incongruous composite made of several fragments of different monuments, cannot be maintained in view of the homogeneity of the art of the whole. With the decoration of the cross we are not here concerned: it is sufficiently well represented in the published illustrations...In the middle of the shaft there is a projecting knop, probably suggested by the similar knop of a crozier or processional cross of metal, and above this the stem is continued similar to the stem below'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 134--136: `Composite moulded pillar-cross, 117" h. (overall), of four members (joined by tenon and mortise joints), comprising (a) truncated pyramidal base, (b) lower quadrangular shaft capped with a plain `abacus', (c) massive central `knop', and (d) combined (?) upper shaft and head (cf. No. 205). The dimensions of the four members are: (a) 21" h. x 35" w. and 21" t. at bottom, diminishing to 24" w. and 16 1/2" t. at top; (b) 46" h. x 19" w. and 14 1/2" t. at bottom, diminishing to 17" w. and 13" t. at top; (c) 15" h. x 27" (bottom) to 19" (top) w. x 19" t.; (d) 35" h. x 12" square...Base and cross are decorated on all faces with panels of carved patterns and figure-representations (badly damaged by weathering) in low to high relief...The composite structure of this remarkable monument makes it unique among the Welsh crosses (but cf. No. 205). The form, however, is clearly related to that of the simple moulded pillar-cross represented by Nos. 47 and 65, while its decoration likewise employs the same repertory of simple plaits and knots, supplemented in this case by a single key-pattern and the use of figure-sculpture. The grotesque design of the monument illustrates the trend of the later S. Wales sculpture towards exaggerated and bizarre monumental forms combined with over-elaboration of ornament. In detail the monument is of interest for the `architectural' treatment of the angle-mouldings, which are here developed into columnar forms complete with bases and capitals. The cross clearly belongs to the culminating phase of Welsh Early Christian sculpture.
The lower shaft has tenons, at both ends fitting into corresponding mortises in the pedestal and `knop' respectively. The `knop' also has a mortise on top to receive the tenon of the upper shaft'.
RCAHMW/1976, 61--62: `Composite pillar-cross consisting of two-part squared shaft with massive central collar or knop and splayed base but lacking the cross-head. It is formed of four moulded blocks of Sutton stone, of which the base and collar are mortised for tenons on the two shaft stones. Though the upper shaft is square in section, the main part of the cross is rectangular with wider faces to E. and W., 2.97m in overall height. Both the upper and lower shafts have bulbous angle-mouldings framing narrow panels decorated in relief. The moulded collar is stepped like an inverted capital but the plain necking on which it rests is the head of the lower shaft. The base, roughly pyramidal with the narrow faces more splayed than the main faces, has edge-mouldings framing carved panels. All the carved detail is varyingly eroded by weathering...The upper shaft, 89cm tall and 33cm square, has plain rounded angle-mouldings fractured off at the lowest N.E. and S.E. angles; a fragment formerly broken off the top of the E. face and restored in position shows traces of the single band moulding at the top similar to that at the surviving lowest angles. Part of the original cross-head was in situ in the 1690s when the monument was sketched by or for E. Lhuyd...The collar or knop, 40cm high, is formed of five horizontal bands of decoration each stepped in above the fourth band which is widest, 68cm by 58cm...The lower shaft, 1.2 m high, is asymmetrical in its dimensions which average 50cm by 40cm at the base, swelling to a maximum width of 58cm by 45cm, and tapers to 50cm by 33cm below the necking. The squared-off necking, 50cm by 40cm is plain, with rounded angles (the S.E. angle fractured off); a single-line inscription in half-uncials cut on the W. face'.
 The cross has been restored to an upright position during the present century.
 Stowe MS. 1024, fo. 19'.
|Condition:||complete , some|
Westwood/1879, 1: `the upper part of the shaft and the head of the cross being broken off'.
|Decorations:||animal; figural; geometric ribbon interlace|
Westwood/1879, 1--2: `On my first visit to Llandough in 1845 the block on which the base rests was sunk in the ground, but in 1856 it had been raised, shewing the remarkable sculpture of a man on horseback, with knot-work on the front face, the busts of five figures, separated from each other by a spear head or trefoiled sceptre (as I take them to represent), on the back face, and with a single bust and knot-work on each end. These figures are greatly defaced. Above these figures is a band of interlaced ribbonwork.
The two broader faces of the basal portion of the cross are 10 inches wide and are ornamented with interlaced ribbon patterns, as are also the rounded semi-columns of the angles, giving them a cable-like appearance, but the two narrower faces of the base are left plain and slightly concave, being only 5 inches wide, exclusive of the rounded angles.
The shaft of the cross is separated from the base by a large dilated boss cut into several narrow transverse steps or compartments ornamented with simple interlaced ribbons, the lowest division being inscribed on its front side with letters...The semi-columns of the angles of the shaft of the cross are left plain, but all the four intervening spaces are ornamented with ribbon patterns of different design, represented in the two detached figures in the upper part of the Plate and in the middle figure of the left hand side, which last mentioned pattern is repeated on the back side of the base of the cross. The outline figures represent transverse sections of the base and shaft of the cross'.
Macalister/1949, 153: `The lower portion...[has on] each of the four sides...long panel, intercepted between a projecting label at the top, a band of interlacement surrounding the stone at the bottom, and bowtells at the angles. All four bowtells are covered with interlacing. The intercepted panels bear interlacing on the eastern and western faces, but are plain on the north and south. The base has similar projecting corner-pieces with much worn interlacement; the enclosed panels bear the following devices on a background of interlacement: west, a horseman; north, bust of an ecclesiastic; east, a row of five busts; south a single bust'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 134--136: `BASE. The panelled faces are edged with heavy roll-mouldings enriched with carved plaitwork (defaced by weathering). Front. Row of five three-quarter-length figures, facing front, with horizontally and vertically moulded (? draped) bodies, ruff-like collars, and a cross or sceptre held erect in the r. hand (Pl. LXXI, 8). At least one of the figures (on the r.) also wears a knobbed or jewelled crown. Right. Bust of a man, facing front (Pl. LXXI, 9), with plain four-cord plaits (R.A. 503) in the field on either side. Back. Horseman advancing l. (Pl. LXXI, 3), with triple(?)- beaded plaitwork, combined four-cord plait and twist (R.A. 503 and 501), and interlinked oval rings (R.A. 766) in the field around. Left. Bust of man as before (Pl. LXXI, 10), with a combined four-cord plait and twist (R.A. 503 and 501) in the field on either side. LOWER SHAFT. The angles are finished with heavy baluster-mouldings (showing marked entasis), treated architecturally with bases and capitals (formed of horizontal twists) and enriched with coarse plaitwork. The main faces of the shaft are decorated with vertical bands of coarse double-beaded (?) knotwork (defaced); the edges are plain. Front. Double band of Stafford-knots (R.A. 601). Back. Figure-of-eight knotwork (R.A. 568). The edge of the plain abacus surmounting the shaft bears an inscription...KNOP. This is a square cushioned member, with stepped edges enriched variously with plain twists (R.A. 501), and a three-cord plait (R.A. 502) above and cable and beaded ornament below (much weathered). UPPER SHAFT. The roll mouldings at the angles (damaged) are plain. The panelled faces are filled variously with vertical bands of carved knotwork and key-pattern. Front. Double-beaded knotwork (vestige only) merging below into a double band of plain Stafford-knots (R.A. 601). Right. Double-beaded S-shaped bends (R.A. 544). Back. Double-beaded figure-of-eight knotwork (R.A. 568). Left. Double-beaded T-shaped fret-pattern (cf. R.A. 899).
 A common motif in Early Christian art. It occurs frequently on the Irish and Scottish monuments (ECMS, iii, passim [Allen/Anderson/1903] ; LSI [Henry/1933], ii, pl. 34). For its occurrence again in Wales see No. 234 and p. 47'.
RCAHMW/1976, 61--62: 'The upper shaft...The decoration of the E. panel shows a double-beaded figure-of-eight knot (probably terminating the decoration of the missing cross-head) linked to five pairs of plain Stafford-knots in double vertical row. The S. panel has a double-beaded diagonal key-pattern, the W. panel double-beaded figure-of-eight knotwork terminating in a Stafford-knot, and the N. panel double-beaded knotwork forming four S-shaped knots.
The collar or knop...is formed of five horizontal bands of decoration each stepped in above the fourth band which is widest...and has beading immediately above and below it. The bands are decorated with (top to bottom) a twist, a three-cord plait, a twist, and the lowest band is formed by a cable-moulding.
The lower shaft...The angle-mouldings of the shaft, more massive than those of the upper shaft but tapering towards the head, have irregular plaitwork (?double-beaded) in broad loose cords, but the N.E. angle-moulding has close plaitwork of narrower cords and some knotwork. Each angle-moulding has at the top a roll with a twist on it, and at the base a broad band of knotwork set between an upper and a lower horizontal twist. Of the panels framed by the angle-mouldings, only the wider faces are decorated, the E. panel showing five pairs of plain Stafford-knots in double vertical row, and the W. panel showing figure-of-eight knotwork terminating top and bottom in Stafford-knots.
The edge-mouldings of the base show traces of plain plait-work and, on the upper edge of the W. side, figure-of-eight knots, but are badly eroded. The E. panel (Plate 22) contains in relief five human figures in a row, seated (?) facing front, each with vestments showing a high collar (amice?) and holding a cross-headed staff or sceptre (one lacking); the northernmost figure is probably crowned. The S. panel has the bust of a man in relief set between two patterns of simple plaitwork ending in twists. The W. panel (Plate 22) shows centrally a man on horseback and, between the legs of the horse, a pattern of inter linked oval rings; the space before the horse is filled with broad irregular plaitwork incorporating a ring, and that behind has possibly a standing figure. In the N. panel is the bust of a man in relief between two patterns of plaitwork, four-cord (left) and irregular (right)'.
|Huebner, E. (1876):||URBICI|
Huebner/1876 22 reading only
|Westwood, J.O. (1879):||IRBIC[--|
Westwood/1876 2 reading only
|Allen, R. (1904):||IRBICI|
Allen/1904 252 reading only
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1933):||IRBIC+|
Anon/1933 393 reading only
Macalister/1949 154 reading only
|Nash-Williams, V.E. (1950):||IRBIC[.]|
(The cross) of Irbic (PN).
(The cross) of Irbic (PN) +.
Nash-Williams/1950 134 reading only
RCAHMW/1976 61 reading only
|Position:||W ; shaft ; n/a ; moulding|
Westwood/1879, 1: `the lowest division being inscribed on its front side with letters'.
Macalister/1949, 154: `The fillet at the top of the lower part of the shaft, below the knop, is chipped away on the eastern face, blank on the north and south faces, but on the western face bears the letters:
Nash-Williams/1950, 134: `The edge of the plain abacus surmounting the shaft bears an inscription (Fig. 145) in one line reading horizontally'.
RCAHMW/1976, 61: `a single-line inscription in half-uncials cut on the W. face'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 134: `deeply and coarsely picked'.
|Date:||950 - 1050 (RCAHMW/1976)|
966 - 1099 (Nash-Williams/1950)
|Language:||name only (rbook)|
|Palaeography:||Westwood/1879, 1: `Hiberno-Saxon characters'.|
Allen/1904, 252: `minuscule inscription in one horizontal line'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 134: `Round half-uncials, deeply and coarsely picked'.
Westwood/1876, 1: `much defaced'.
Macalister/1949, 154: `presumably the name of the personage in whose memory or honour the monument was erected. In the form Erbic, whether denoting the same individual or another, the name appears more than once in the Book of Llandav'.
Macalister provides a more detailed discussion of Erbic in his comments published in the Report of the 87th Annual Meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, 1933 (Anon/1933, 393--394).
RCAHMW/1976 61 reading only
|Position:||E ; shaft ; n/a ; moulding|
|Date:||950 - 1050 (RCAHMW/1976)|
RCAHMW/1976, 61: `faint indications of lettering on the E. side...are suggested but the surface is much eroded'.