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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018757

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1018757

The magnificent disc-headed cross now stands at the centre of a busy roundabout at the NE end of Main Street at the head of the Old Quay; this is not its original position, however, for it was probably brought from Kilkivan (NR 651201) in the early 17th century, and until the Second World War stood in front of the Town House, further up Main Street The cross is carved out of the distinctive schist which comes from the area of Loch Sweeni the decmative motifs are well thought out and arranged on both faces, with elaborate leaf scroll decoration on either side. Unfortunately several figures have been removed from the front of the cross creating three areas now void of decoration.

The front of the cross would have had a central figure of the crucifixion, now erased, with two unidentified saints to the top of the cross arm and St Mary and St John below. A vivid representation of St Michael slaying the dragon fills the left arm of the cross. Below the head of the cross is an empty panel and below that there was formerly a figure of a cleric with a chalice and a book, which alone now survive. The inscription which helps to date the cross to the latter part of the 14th centmy reads: 'This is the cross of Sir Yvarns MacEachern, sometime parson of Kylkecan, and Sir Andreas his son, parson of Kilchoman, who caused this cross to be made'. Beneath the inscription is a rather erratic panel of foliaceous decoration terminating in confronted beasts.

On the back of the cross the layout of the main panels of foliaceous or interlace decoration is highlighted by a series of paired figures: at the top there is a mermaid and sea monster, at the arms there are pairs of animals, and finally, at the base of the cross there are two pairs of confronted animals, now rather worn.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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