Cross-in-Hand

cropped-ireland-cropped.jpgThis picture of Ireland was taken in Dorset in 1923, on a holiday with Arthur Miller. In it he poses with his hand on a small stone monolith, known as the Cross-in-Hand (or Cross and Hand) stone. It stands on the Wessex Ridgeway near Cerne Abbas. The stone’s history is unclear, but it is most likely a mark or boundary stone or the relic of a former cross. It has a number of legends attached and was captured twice in words by Thomas Hardy. In Tess of the d’Urbervilles Alec and Tess stand beside the stone after an unexpected encounter, and in his poem of 1900, ‘The Lost Pyx’, Hardy makes specific references to it:

Some say the spot is banned: that the pillar Cross-and-Hand
Attests to a deed of hell;
But of else than of bale is the mystic tale
That ancient Vale-folk tell.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s