Rey Cross


This old stump may once have been very important. It is all that remains of the Rey Cross at Stainmore, between Cumbria and County Durham. It was likely erected by King Eadmund I (939-946) as a boundary marker between England and Scotland. Furthermore, it is said to be the burial site of the Viking Eric Bloodaxe, King of Norway and Northumbria. Wrote Roger of Wendover:

King Eric was treacherously killed by Earl Maccus in a certain lonely place which is called Stainmore, with his son Haeric and his brother Ragnald, betrayed by Earl Oswulf; and then afterwards King Eadred ruled in these districts.

This is all rather intriguing. Eric was a not a man to be crossed as his epithet suggests, but crossed he was. A mighty man, now lost to the ground; a popular man, then betrayed; a strong man, now decayed bone with no muscle to flex. Great ones fall, powerful ones fade, tough guys weaken. This earth is diminishing and decaying, like all who live on her. Only Christ offers eternal meaning, everlasting hope and endless glory: no-one else and nothing else.