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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 694934

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NR72SW 16 72043 20445

(NR 7193 2036) Cross (NR)

OS 25" map, Argyllshire, (1906)

(NR 7204 2044) Cross (NR)

OS 25" map, (1964)

Cross, Campbeltown: the finest surviving example of late medieval carving in Kintyre is the cross that stands on an octagonal, stepped base at the Old Quay Head, Campbeltown. Formerly it stood in Main Street, outside the Town Hall, but it was taken down for safety during the Second World War and afterwards re-erected in its present position. The socket stone in which the shaft is set may be original, since it is made of the same distinctive material as the cross, but if so it has been re-cut to its present shape; the rest of the base is modern.

The cross is carved out of a single block of bluish-green chlorite schist, probably from the Loch Sween area, and measures 3.30m in height, 0.46m wide by 0.13m thick at the base, and 0.34m wide by 0.10m thick at the neck. The disk-head measures 0.81m in diameter exclusive of the arms. (A full description of the sculpturing is given.) The inscription, in raised Lombardic capitals, reads: HEC EST CRVX D / OMINI YUARI M(AC)H / EACHYRNA QVO(N)D / AM RECTORIS DE /KYIKECAN ET DO/ MINI ANDREE NAT / I EIVS RECTORIS / DE KILCOMAN Q / VI HANC CRVCE(M) / FIERI FACIEBAT ("This is the cross of sir Ivor MacEachern, sometime parson of Kilkivan, and of his son, Sir Andrew, parson of Kilchoman, who caused it to be made"). The place-name 'Kylkecan' is not known, and it seems probable that Kylkevan (Kilkivan) near Machrihanish, was intended: the sculptor could easily have carved a C in mistake for a V, since the Lombardic forms of these two letters are not dissimilar. If this is so, the cross presumably stood originally within or close to the grave-yard at Kilkivan (NR62SE 9) and was removed to Campbeltown, and adapted to serve as a market cross, some time after the foundation of the burgh in 1609. The cross probably dates to about 1380 (and not 1500 as has been previously suggested).

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1865; T P White 1873; RCAHMS 1971, visited 1968.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (RDL) 11 March 1963.

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