Saturday, 5 November 2011

Ilam Cross

Mary Watts-Russell Memorial Cross, Ilam
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17.0mm, 1/320s @ f/8.0 ISO 400)
Constructed in the style of the 13th century "Eleanor Crosses", this Victorian monument was built in 1841 as a memorial to the late wife, Mary, of Jesse Watts-Russell of nearby Ilam Hall. Until very recently, the cross was shrouded in scaffolding while restoration work was carried out. The top section of the cross was blown down in a freak storm in the 1960s. It was replaced with a rather crudely carved, plain cemetery style pillar and cross quite quickly, but this was totally out of character with the elegant carving of the rest of the cross. A charitable trust was formed in 2003 which raised sufficient funds to have the top of the cross restored to its original beauty. The work was carried out in the last two years. In one of the six lower niches of the cross is an inscription which reads:

This Crofs and Fountain
erected by her husband
perpetuate the memory of
one who lives in the hearts
of many in this village and
Mary Watts Russell
Free as for all these crystal waters flow
Her gentle eyes would weep for others woe
Dried is that fount but long may this endure
To be a well of comfort to the poor

The "crystal waters" refer to a trough round the base of the cross fed from a clear spring on nearby Bunster Hill.
The Inscription

1 comment:

  1. I am a little remiss here. I thought I had commented. It's a grand bit of restoration. Slap a bit of dilute cow muck on it and it will be as good as old.


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