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Field Visit

Date August 1984

Event ID 1082753

Category Recording

Type Field Visit

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1082753

4) Shaft and lower part of the head of a slab-like freestanding cross of schist, measuring 1.75m in visible height and 0.62m in width, which tapers in thickness from 120mm to 110mm. A further 0.lm of decoration on the W face is concealed below the present ground-level. The incomplete cross-head had oval armpits which were carefully shaped although not drafted through on a uniform plane, and the original height of the cross was at least 2.8m. Most of the surface of the W face has flaked off, and no ornament remains on the surviving stump of the head except for what may have been the edge of an area of interlace on the E face.

The E face has a triple margin whose two broad inner members returned onto the ring. The margin frames a blank panel, with no evidence of a former inscription, at the base of the shaft, above which are two wrestling beak-headed monsters with tails and prominent genitals. Each holds with its free hand one of the two dangling lower cords attached to a twisted horizontal plait with a central knot, above which there is a panel of key-pattern similar to that on the cross-slab at Ardchattan (Lorn). This is followed by three motifs with no horizontal demarcation, the lowest one being a hooded rider. The horse is shown in considerable detail, having a girth-strap, but it is poorly proportioned and the low-set rider is excessively small. A plaited knot with a cruciform centre fills a space at the left. Above the rider there is a large monster shown walking to the right and gripping a tapering ?snake in its fierce jaws. Its tail and crest are attached in spirals to the crests of the two lower animals in an incomplete plaited group of four filling the top of the shaft. Their heads and hindquarters are bent at right angles to the bodies, which form a central cross, and each has a forepaw grasping one hind-leg of the opposite beast, while it bites the other leg.

The W face has a broad margin with double-beaded knotwork between flat mouldings, which continue onto the surviving N stump of the ring. It extends below the present ground-level to frame two confronted squatting beasts with interpenetrating plaited necks and large heads with long pendent tongues. Above there is a panel of coarse double-beaded interlace, some strands of which appear to continue onto the flaked area which has a very broad vertical band, of uncertain significance, at the left. The only ornament visible on the upper part of the shaft is the forequarters of a stag towards the left. This cross, whose form appears to have been influenced by cross-slabs such as that at Ardchattan, is probably of 10th century date. (Drawing by J Skene, 1832, in NMRS, MS 28(SAS 464), f.53; SSS 1, p1.100; White, Knapdale, pls.29, 30;JRSAI, 29 (1899), 343-5; ECMS, 3, 379, figs.396a, b).

RCAHMS 1992, visited August 1984

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