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The Criccin Cross

Criccin Cross is a curiosity.  It is the remains of a late 13th, early 14th century octagonal cross shaft, a stub of stone set into a socketed plinth, stood stubbornly upon what is thought to be a natural mound.  Elias Owen, writing in 1886, describes the cross as standing in a field named locally as, Maes-y-croes, or Field of the Cross, and at least alludes to the possibility that it was somehow connected to the nearby Dominican Priory (Abbey Farm) a little south east of Twt Hill.  The Coflein website suggests that it might have been a boundary marker, connected to the Edwardian borough of Rhuddlan.  The truth is, no one really knows.

Owen, who studied the cross several times, tells of how a piece of the pedestal was found covering a drain on nearby Criccin Farm, and returned to its rightful place, fitting almost perfectly, it seems.  There continues to be speculation that more of the cross is scattered about the near vicinity, probably used as gateposts and drain covers, recycled by the people thereabouts, and perhaps awaiting discovery.  The future may hold the possibility of further pieces of the cross being returned.

There is the hint of a suggestion, more than likely erroneous, that the cross stands upon the burial mound of St Eurgain, a daughter of Maelgwyn Gwynedd, whose wife, Nest temporarily lost an ancient ring given to her by her husband at nearby St Asaph while bathing in the River Elwy.  There is, unfortunately, little substance to this.  The mound, as has been said, is more than likely natural, and given that St Eurgain was Christian, it is highly unlikely she would be buried in a Bronze Age ‘tumulus’.

The cross is a mile or so south of Rhuddlan on the B5429, directly opposite Criccin Farm and difficult to miss.  Park up on the verge safely, negotiate the wooden gate and carefully pick your way through a protective thicket of nettles before victoriously emerging at the summit.  The views of the countryside around are lovely.

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