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Canna, St Columba's Graveyard. East face of carved stone.

SC 747812

Description Canna, St Columba's Graveyard. East face of carved stone.

Date 19/9/1895

Collection Erskine Beveridge

Catalogue Number SC 747812

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of IN 881

Scope and Content Sculptured Cross, St Columba's Graveyard, A' Chill, Canna, Highland, from the east The remains of an Early Christian chapel dedicated to St Columba stand at A' Chill in the south-east of Canna, the outermost island of a group in the Inner Hebrides known as the Small Isles. The site of the chapel is marked by a finely-sculptured yellow sandstone cross, possibly dating from the 8th or 9th century, which stands in the graveyard surrounding the church. This photograph of the east face of the cross (front) was taken by Erskine Beveridge in 1895. The top and left arm of the cross are broken off, and the shaft is much weathered. It stands on what is probably its original sandstone base-slab, and measures 2.11m in height by 0.54m in width at the base. The cross head has a circular panel bearing what seems to be a serpentine pattern, and the shaft has been carved in relief with a series of figures arranged one below the other. Beginning at the top, these include an elephant-like animal with rudimentary hind legs, an animal turning its head back and biting its body, a man on horseback, and the figures of woman and a man side by side. The woman (left) holds a child in her left arm and the man's right hand rests on the child. The sculpture at the bottom of the shaft represents two amorphous creatures resembling fish. The figure of the horseman has been carved in great detail. The rider wears a hood and a loose coat with a tail, and his legs are either bare or tightly swathed. The horse has a bit and reins, and there is an object resembling a bag on its back. The figures of the woman and man are similarly carved in detail. The woman has curled hair and is wearing an ankle-length dress, and is possibly intended to represent the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arm. The man, shown in profile with long hair and a beard, is holding a bag or vessel in his left hand, and may represent one of the Magi presenting a gift to the Child. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/747812

Collection Hierarchy - Item Level

Collection Level (551 59) Erskine Beveridge

> Item Level (SC 747812) Canna, St Columba's Graveyard. East face of carved stone.

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