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Wakefield Cathedral Cross

Restored after over 1,000 years

Wakefield Cathedral Cross

Wakefield Cathedral Cross

The Cathedral Church of All Saints in Wakefield, W. Yorks, England, is built on the site of a Saxon church.

Walton Hall is some 6 km south of the cathedral, where a carved stone doorstep was identified as the fragment of Saxon cross shaft and dated to around 930 AD. This fragment is now housed in Wakefield museum and a replica can be seen against the east wall of the cathedral's south aisle.

Wakefield Cathedral Cross

The fragment and its Celtic swirls inspired the renowned stone carver and calligrapher Celia Kilner to design the present cross which was erected outside the cathedral's west door just before Easter 2016. The stone was quarried 30 km away in Holmfirth, the hometown of Ms Kilner, who carefully hand-carved the entire 3 m tall piece.

(If you happen to be in Wakefield, we'd be grateful if you could take a photo of the actual cross and send it to us to replace the graphic shown here. Full credit given.)

The relatively small cross at the top of the shaft enhances its height, and is typical of ancient High Crosses.

Fish and mitre

In contrast, the swirls carved in each cross arm have a contemporary design of two interlocking fish symbols, which in turn interlock the outline of a bishop's mitre (coloured here for illustrative purposes only).

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