AN artist and designer is hoping to get people talking about the mystery of Lymm Cross after reimagining it as a global signpost.

Richard Cowley’s exhibition for Lymm Festival links more than 40 destinations to the grade I-listed monument after he developed a theory that its four sides were once used to point out places in the world.

The former urban designer and landscape architect has become renowned for thinking outside the box after the likes of his ‘Lymm-London’ exhibition which showed how historic parts of central London would fit neatly into a village the size of Lymm.

He said: “Like most people in Lymm I have a love of The Cross but nobody including Historic England or Lymm Parish Council know definitively when, who or more interestingly why it was built.

“There are differing opinions regarding The Cross’s age, ranging between the 14th and 17th century. The ambiguity made me imagine a possible story.”

That had been in the back of Richard’s mind for three years which resulted in him teaming up with Birchwood’s Offset Services to create a 3D scan of the structure. Offset normally scan oil terminals and the image of The Cross was just as meticulous with five billion points, showing every bump, scratch and bit of graffiti.

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As he studied it inspiration struck for ‘Lymm X-ed’.

The 45-year-old added: “I was trying to find a meaning for it and then it hit me – why is it at that angle? My theory was what if The Cross was a global marker?”

Richard projected each of the four faces of Lymm Cross around the Earth and looked at where the lines went.

You can see the results throughout the duration of Lymm Festival until Saturday with signs pointing to each destination and how far away it is in miles.

Richard, who is originally from Chorlton but has lived in Lymm for 13 years, said: “It’s a bit like when you stand at Land’s End and see a sign saying New York 3,000 miles to the horizon.

“If you stand on The Cross and look in one direction, you’re looking towards Hathersage, Simferopol which is a city on the Crimean Peninsula and Tasmania.”

Lymm X-ed continues at Richard’s Higher Lane studio between Friday and Sunday where visitors can view three models of The Cross – included a diamond encrusted one – based on the 3D scans. You can even buy a garden ornament of the monument.

Richard will also be displaying his 240sq m photo collage of Manchester along with a showcase of seven other artists, including works by a former royal and Rolling Stones photographer Peter Aitchison, abstract works by international artist Danny Cawley and creations by glass artist Helen Davies.