I found this photo I took in 2010 of a gravestone located in Fenstanton Parish Church graveyard. It is dated 1886.

I've done a little research (1,2,3) but none of them were especially helpful.

Why does the cross on this gravestone lean?

  • 4
    I asked that same question as a kid and was told that was supposed to symbolize the cross that Jesus carried on his back. Of course that is just what I was told so take it at that.
    – ed.hank
    Nov 26 '17 at 23:38
  • 1
    Need it mean anything more than that the stoncarver perhaps couldn't fit an upright one in with all the lettering?
    – jamesqf
    Nov 27 '17 at 0:33
  • This link provides some theories, but I've found nothing more definite. gotquestions.org/sideways-cross.html Nov 27 '17 at 0:59
  • 2
    It appears not to be a leaning cross, but one resting on two points. It could just be a stylization, or maybe the person is "resting".
    – John Dee
    Nov 27 '17 at 5:17
  • You may wish to ask this question at Christianity.SE. There are some very knowledgeable people in that SE who may have insights on this tradition, which may be Anglican Christian in origin. Nov 30 '17 at 19:58

It is a Portate Cross, also called cross of St. Gilbert. There were some pages which stated that "portate" derives from Latin "portare" (carry), and that it symbolizes the cross Christ carried, but I found no reliable source to support it.


It means several things the most common is that Jesus has finished his journey carrying the cross and has laid it down

  • 6
    Welcome to History:SE. Sources to support your assertion would greatly improve this answer. Aug 23 '19 at 15:16

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