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Description of stone

Date 22 June 2016

Event ID 1011815

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Early Medieval Carved Stones Project


Kettins, Angus, cross-slab

Measurements: H 2.8m, W 1.2m, D 0.25m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NO 2378 3906

Present location: set in a stone socket in Kettins churchyard.

Evidence for discovery: found in use as a footbridge over the burn around 1865 and erected in the churchyard close to the north wall. An infestation of ivy was removed in 2015.

Present condition: much of the carved surface of the slab has suffered severe water erosion. Most of the details of the cross and the ornament to its left have been obliterated.


This tall and slightly tapering slab has been carefully dressed at the top with a concave curve at either side creating the impression of a pediment. It is carved in relief on one broad face with a ringed cross outlined by a roll moulding which ends with a basal hook. The shaft is divided into at least three and possibly four panels of interlace ornament by narrower roll mouldings, in the lowest of which voids in the interlace form a cross. To the right of the shaft traces survive of four panels separated by roll mouldings, of which the uppermost contains a quadruped facing right, and below there is another quadruped facing left, possibly with a bird in its jaws. The third panel contains a frontal human figure flanked by two in profile who appear to have animal heads or masks. All three figures are dressed in long robes. The basal panel depicts two quadrupeds, one body over the other, facing away from one another but with confronting heads turned back with the ends of their own tails in their jaws. Allen saw traces of the tail of a fish-monster in the space above the left-hand side-arm.

Date range: eighth or ninth century.

Primary references: Stuart 1867, pl 8; ECMS pt 3, 224-5.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

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