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The Viking Period  (From About 900 To 1266)


Although, like the rest of the Island, Howstrake was inhabited by the Vikings, there is only one tangible item which, without any doubt, remains from their period of occupation. A stone memorial slab, known as Thurith's Cross, has runic inscriptions carved on both its faces. On one face the runes read - THE CROSS - JESUS CHRIST  THURITH CARVED THESE RUNES. This cross, numbered 141[113], was recorded as being in a garden in Onchan village in 1841 but lay there until 1892 when it was removed to St Peter's Church for safe-keeping.

Of the other Onchan crosses, one is undoubtedly Celtic. The remaining four were categorised as Celtic by P.M.C. Kermode in "Manx Crosses", 1907, but Sir David M. Wilson, in the 1994 reprint of Kermode's work, ascribes them to the Scandinavian period.

Other reminders of the Vikings in Howstrake are the Norse origins of such names as Howstrake itself, of Groudle, and of Brither Clip.