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Title Synopsis Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Bibliography Catalogue Appendix

Plate 7

Cross Shaft, Halton, Lancashire

First half of 11th Century

Halton ShaftThe three panels on the east side of the Halton cross (near Lancaster), include a new image, that of Rejin in the smithy (something also alluded to in the Kirby Hill example), and does not display the dragon-slaying at all. The bottom panel of the three is the scene in the smithy. This round topped panel includes, in no apparent order or logical proportion, a realistic figure seated at a table (or an anvil?) and holding a pair of pincers and a raised hammer. Below the table are two enormous bellows, and above the table, another pair of pincers, a sword, a second hammer, a headless body and a geometric interlace that has been regarded by same as the body of the dead Fafnir.

Figure 7
Figure 7

The space above is again a round topped panel, but here divided into two. Figure 8
Figure 8

The middle area is eroded, but what remains of the lower portion shows a man sucking his thumb, standing next to a triangular based Figure 4interlace that, if the Sigurd identification is correct, is the fire. Unfortunately whatever the figure was holding over the f lames has been eroded, but it seems possible that it was a spit, probably with the rings seen on previous examples.

The top section shows an oval interlace with two birds perched on it. If continuing the Sigurd identification, this then shows the talking birds and their tree. The fact that the tree is so stylised is not surprising when considering the Ramsund and Gok examples in Sweden. The tree on the Ramsund stone degenerates at the base and branches into a random pattern (Fig. 7), while the cruder carving at Gok has the whole tree as a random interlace, with a serpent also being interwoven (Fig. 8). Furthermore, the shape of the birds at Halton is very similar to the pair on the Ramsund stone, and the headless body and smith's tools also appear on both the Ramsund and Gok carvings, although not in the smithy environment.

Figure 4

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1990-1 Shona E McAndrew