Footnote on the Cataloguing of the Crosses
Each of the Manx crosses has a metal disc with a number. This is a reference number allocated by the (splendid) Manx Museum in Douglas. The authority on the Manx crosses was PMC Kermode (1855-1932) who published the definitive description of the crosses in 1887 with a revised edition in 1907. You would be hard-pressed to find a copy of either edition and if you were so fortunate you would find it an expensive acquisition! Kermode gave a reference number to each cross but during his tenure as the original curator of the Manx Museum he revised them to the numbers that you see now. Unfortunately this means that even if you find an electronic facsimile of his book you will find that the numbers in the book bear no resemblance to the numbers on the crosses! Nor, as far as I can see, has the Manx Museum published a cross-reference online which is a bit of a shame considering the great job it does in preserving and explaining the island’s history.
A new edition was published in 1994 and this presumably refers to the new numbers but, frustratingly, this seems now only to be available in the USA. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
The Manx Museum publishes a super little book called “The Art of the Manx Crosses” at the extraordinary bargain price of £2! It has forty pages and is profusely illustrated with b/w photographs. If you visit the island it is indispensable but it shows only the highlights of the collection. The churches that play host to the crosses provide information that varies from the excellent (Kirk Michael, Onchan) to the distinctly patchy. To be fair, however, there is little definitive information on the majority of crosses, especially for the very plain ones such as at Kirk Lonan,, because it is the decorations, figures and runes that embellish the later crosses that have enabled antiquarians to date and explain them.