Maen Achwyfan Cross in Pen-yr-Allt, Wales

Closer look at the carving on Maen Achwyfan

The Maen Achwyfan Cross, near Whitford village, is a freestanding stone monument, or wheel-cross, dating from the late 10th or early 11th century. While it may have been built in commemoration of a person or event, Cadw, the government arm responsible for historical monuments in Wales, states that its exact purpose is currently unknown. While there are other examples around the country, this particular monument is the tallest wheel-cross in Britain, standing at 3.4 meters, or around 11 feet high.

Though it’s a Christian monument, the cross has interesting Viking roots.¬† The design is heavily influenced by Viking art, a testament to the presence of the sea raiders in this part of Wales.¬†Fashioned from a single slab of stone, it features a wheel-shaped carving at the top and is covered by intricate, well-preserved knotwork carvings along its shaft.

The cross is probably standing where it was originally placed, hundreds of years ago. It is now fenced for its protection, but you can still make out the carvings from behind the barrier.