The Tunwinni Cross
The runes on the cross do not fit the panel designed to take them. They cut the panel’s frame, and run between, and over, two figures carved beneath it – a feature drawn from early historic Irish Christian stone sculpture. Careful analysis of key parts of the runic inscription has demonstrated that names included in it has been over cut. It seems that the principal objective of this act was to disguise earlier names that link the inscription to the figures below the panel.
This allows us to suggest that these are two early Christian clerics – one named
Luigne from the 7th century AD Ionan monastic community in western Scotland, the
other, (originally from Tarsus in SE Turkey), considered to be Theodore, the 7th
Archbishop of Canterbury (who died in 690 AD). Tunwinni is named on the top line
of the inscription. His name is also an over cutting of that of another, who presumably
did most of the work in creating this memorial to Theodore; Luibe. More than any
other monument, the Tunwinni Cross reveals the ‘hidden landscape’ of Urswick to us.
We can easily see water and stone. However, were it not for the chance survival and
recovery of this remarkable monument, critical elements of very different 1300 year-
Much work was undertaken about The Tunwinni Cross; by W G Collingwood, he interpreted
the runes on the cross as:-
'This cross Tunwinni erected in memory of Torhtred a monument to his Lord pray for the [his] soul'