Elias Owen described this rather beautiful cross as, ‘one of the few nearly perfect Churchyard Crosses that are still to be found in Wales.’ It’s hard to argue with Owen at the best of times, and there is no need to on this occasion, since he is quite correct. The cross is old, Hubbard believing it to be 14th century, and weathered accordingly. But with a little effort, it’s not hard to look up at it today and see what the people of Trelawnyd saw as they came to church. It’s a bit like catching a glimpse of the past in a dream.
And what do we see? Well, the base slab is, as it was in Owen’s time overgrown with grass. Upon it sits what is best described as a small cairn like amalgam of stones within which the chamfered socket stone has been fixed. The shaft, leaning a little to the north, is well over 6ft in height and chamfered smooth and unadorned, and comes to end at a capital with inverted stops and curious decoration. The massive freestone cross head is stunning, divided into four recesses, the north and south of which are empty. Within the east and west recesses, however, are the ubiquitous scenes of the Crucifixion, the west with the Virgin, the likely figure of John weathered lost.
These figures in recess are ghostly now, faceless and featureless, but curiously present and vital. And there’s the thing. In description, the cross has little life. But to look on it, to be there with it, is quite a different matter. It has stood there for the better part of 600 years and more, nothing of course in comparison to the Gop which overlooks it from the heights above the village, but it does in fact still reach out, connecting you, if you’ll let it to a past in which these crosses were a centre of village life. There’s a thrill in that.