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Runic Inscriptions

16 17 Steep upon the wild borderlands of Scotland, quite close to Hadrians Wall, lies the small hamlet of Bewcastle. Situated in its original position within the church grounds this runic cross is over fourteen feet high and is dated to the early eighth century, like the Ruthwell Cross a product of the dualfaith period. Once connected to a lost crosshead the surviving shaft is intricately carved from a single block of stone and depicts traditional Christian imagery along with what may be the secular donor of the monument attired for falconry. Earlier translations of the nine lines of runes dedicate the monument to Alcfirth, a son of King Oswiu, but now much of it is illegible. Alcfirths father Oswiu united and ruled the early kingdoms of Deria with Bernicia which together formed Northumbria. On the opposite side of the monument elaborate carvings depict a tree bursting with animals and plants which has been paralleled with Yggdrasil, the worldtree of heathen cosmology. the BewcAstle cross at the centre of the world
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