A cross moline

The cross moline (also cross anchory, French croix ancrée "anchor cross") is a Christian cross, constituting a kind of heraldic cross.


The name derives from its shape, which resembles a millrind, the iron clamp of the upper millstone, moline being the Old French for a mill. It is very similar to one of the varieties of the "fer de moline" heraldic charge (literal French: "iron of a mill"), the forked tips of which, however, circle out slightly more, akin to the "cross recercelee". It is borne both inverted and rebated, and sometimes "saltirewise" (i.e. in the form of a saltire).

The cross moline is associated with St. Benedict of Nursia. As a result, it is widely used as an emblem by the monks and nuns of the Order of St. Benedict, which he founded.[1]


Canting arms of Molyneux: Azure, a cross moline or
Templar cross moline

Crosses moline appear most notably in the arms of the following:


Cross Cercelée
Anchor cross

A cross cercelée, sarcelly, or recercelée is an exaggerated cross moline, and to a lesser extent similar to the anchored cross, with its forked tips curving around both ways, like a ram's horns. The form is also called recercelée, for example by Boutell.[2][3][4] Over time, English and French heralds reinterpreted the term (sometimes even treating the various spellings as multiple words with different meanings); because many crosses sarcelly were also depicted voided, some writers later used the term to mean voided, applied it to animals to mean cut in half, or applied it to bordures meaning engrailed or indented.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Bayne, William Wilfrid OSB ChLJ, Dom. "An American Benedictine Armorial: Part One". Order of St. Benedict. Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-08-23.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Boutell, Charles. Heraldry Historical & Popular, London, 1863, p. 29
  3. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Cercelée". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (1st ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
  4. ^ Example of a cross cercelée ([1])
  5. ^ Henry Gough; James Parker (1894). A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry. p. 493.
  6. ^ Bradley; James Augustus Henry Murray; Murray (1914). A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles: Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philosophical Society. p. 108. [entries "Sarcelled" and "Sarcelly"]


Further reading