Loki: Cumbria’s man in chains

One of the joys of having your own blog is the statistics. I know that doesn’t sound riveting, but look at this collection of Google search terms that apparently led people to my blog:

How long does ham keep in the freezer1

Loki stone at Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

Loki stone at Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

Blimey – usage history2

What to call colour which shines every colour3

Is eveling a word?4

Mistress with man in chains5

I’ll gloss over the first four, but the fifth reminded me very much of the 10th-century, viking-made Loki stone at Kirkby Stephen in the Eden Valley (which should tell you plenty about the way my mind works). It was found in 1870, and after a short sojourn on display in the churchyard, it was moved inside the church to protect it from the weather. This is a hefty chunky of sandstone with a carved figure with horns, a beard, a belt, and chains. He doesn’t look too happy about it, but then, according to Norse mythology, those chains are actually his son’s entrails. Continue reading

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