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Inveraray Castle, Kirkapoll Cross

Cross (Medieval)

Site Name Inveraray Castle, Kirkapoll Cross

Classification Cross (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Kirkapol, Tiree, Cross; Inveraray Castle Policies

Canmore ID 23346

Site Number NN00NE 12

NGR NN 09658 09200

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Inveraray
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NN00NE 12 09658 09200

(NN 0966 0920) Stone Cross (NAT)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

A cross, removed from Kirkapoll, Tiree, is in the private garden S of Inveraray Castle. Its decorated base is inscribed 'hec est crux fingonii abbatis et suorum filiorum fingonii et eage'.

J Stuart 1867; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964.

As described.

Visited by OS (DWR), 7 March 1973.

Architecture Notes

Originally located in the burial ground at Kirkapoll in Tiree, the cross was removed in the 19th Century and placed in the garden of Inveraray Castle.


Inveraray Cross.


I.G.Lindsay collection, W/363/9

Uncertain whether plans relate to Inveraray Castle Cross or Inveraray, Pier, Cross.


Field Visit (June 1984)

The head and the greater part of the shaft of a medieval disc-headed cross, together with an inscribed socket-stone, were removed in the 19th century from the burial-ground at Kirkapoll, Tiree (en.1), and erected in the garden SE of Inveraray Castle (No. 184). Including a reconstructed portion at the foot of the shaft, the cross now stands to a height of 2.2m, the original fragments measuring about 1.64m in combined length. The span of the arms is 0.47m, the diameter of the disc 0.36m, and the width of the shaft at the junction with the head is 0.19m.

The front of the disc is occupied by a Crucifixion scene with attendant figures, bordered by a single row of trefoil leaves with short curved stalks; the side-arms bear blank panels within roll-mouldings, but in the upper arm is a figure of St Michael slaying the dragon. On the back of the disc a vigorous representation of a stag attacked by hounds is framed by a similar border. The side-arms bear simple decorative motifs, while in the upper arm there is the worn figure of an abbot or bishop carrying a crozier and with his right arm raised in benediction (en.2). The ornament of the shaft resembles that of Mac Lean's Cross, Iona (en.3), in consisting of a tightly woven mesh of asymmetrical interlace incorporating small variegated leaves, and on the back terminating at the top and foot respectively in a pair of confronted beasts, and a mounted warrior. The socket-stone measures 0.84m square by 0.15m in height and incorporates a socket measuring about 0.45m by 0.15m. Its top is covered with foliaceous ornament in the style of the Iona school, and bears the following inscription in Lombardic characters:



'This is the cross of Abbot Finguine and of his sons Finguine and ?Aed'.

Finguine MacKinnon was abbot of Iona from about 1357 to about 1408 and the socket-stone, which is the most elaborate and best preserved of its type in the West Highlands, can be attributed to that period. Its original association with the cross must remain uncertain, however, since the socket is considerably too large for the shaft, the difference being concealed by an expansion in the modern section at the base. While the ornament of the cross is characteristic of the Iona school, its close similarity to MacLean's Cross and to the Duncan MacMillan cross at Kilmory Knap (No. 76, 37) suggests a possible date in the second half of the 15th century. (SSS, 2, pls. 52,66; PSAS, 61 (1926-7), 153, fig.12,2; STEER AND BANNERMAN, Monumental Sculpture, inscription no.6, p.36, and p1.16c; Inventory of Argyll, 3, No.310,3).

RCAHMS 1992, visited in June 1984

Publication Account (1990)

A late-medieval cross of the Iona school was removed from Kirkapoll Churchyard, Tiree, to the gardens on Inverara Castle in the late 19th century; its removal to a sheltered position is now under consideration. The unique inscribed cross-base records that it is the cross of Fingon (MacKinnion), abbot (of Iona) in the late 14th century, and of the two of his sons.

Information from ‘RCAHMS Excursion guide 1990: Commissioners' field excursion, Argyll, 7-9 May 1990’.


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