A plaque in Standish Street commemorates Liverpool's "Saint Patrick's Cross" which once stood at the junction a few minutes away from this location
I was reading Stephen Harding's book "Viking Mersey" about his research on the Vikings of Merseyside. Stephen had produced evidence of a group of Vikings who had been forced out of Ireland in the 10th Century and eventually given permission to settle in the north west of England.
In an ancient record of Ireland known to modern historians as “The Three Fragments” is the story of the Irish Vikings who settled in the north west of England in 902AD:-
“The Norsemen, then departed from Ireland as we have said and Hingamund was their leader, and where they went to was the island of Britain (Anglesey). The men of Britain assembled against them, and they were driven by force from the territories of the men of Britain.
Afterwards Hingamund came with his forces to Edelfrida, Queen of the Saxons. Now Hingamund was asking lands of the Queen in which he would settle, and on which he would build huts and dwellings, for at this time he was weary of war. Then Edelfrida gave him lands near Chester, and he stayed there for a long time.”
The settlers lived in peace for some time before attempting to expand their territory by taking the city of Chester from the Saxons. It was a mixed community of settlers that included many Irishmen among the Norsemen and Danes:-
“Then the King, who was on the point of death, and the Queen sent messengers to the Irishmen who were among the pagans, for there were many Irish among the pagans, to say to the Irishmen, life and health to you from the King of the Saxons, who is in disease, and from his Queen, who has all authority over the Saxons, and they are certain that you are true and trusty friends to them. Therefore you should take their side; for they did not bestow any greater honour to a Saxon warror or cleric than to each warrior and cleric who came to them from Ireland, because this inimical race of pagans is equally hostile to you also.”
Wirral has place names indicating an Irish element to this Viking settlement such as the name of the village Irby which means "settlement of the Irish". There's also St. Bridget's Church which is known to have been founded by Vikings from Ireland. There's information available about Wirral's Irish Viking past but I was interested to find out more about Liverpool's Irish Viking past.
I remembered there were traditions in Liverpool associated with St. Patrick. Could they have the same origins? If not where did they come from? I decided to investigate these traditions by focusing on their apparent source "Saint Patrick's Cross". This lost relic of medieval Liverpool has baffled historians for over two hundred years.