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Islay, Kildalton, Small Cross Outside Burial Ground

Cross (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Kildalton, Small Cross Outside Burial Ground

Classification Cross (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Kildalton Old Parish Church

Canmore ID 233550

Site Number NR45SE 3.02

NGR NR 45835 50867

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kildalton And Oa
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll


External Reference (20 July 1971)

Mediaeval. Monolith. Disc type. Scroll ornament on stem. On

small cairn.




Argyll C.C. 'List'

Muir 'Characteristics' P.105

Graham 'Carved Stones' P.89 (ills.)

RCAHMS Vol 5 No. 367

Scheduled Ancient Monument No 2379.

Information from Historic Scotland, 20 July 1971

Geophysical Survey (25 March 2017 - 1 April 2017)

NR 45804 50830 A geophysical and walkover survey of the environs of the 8th-century Kildalton High Cross was undertaken, 25 March – 1 April 2017, by a group of University of Glasgow archaeologists. The survey did not find any clear evidence of an early Christian vallum or any feature which may relate to pre-existing structures immediately outside the churchyard of Kildalton. The churchyard was found to have rig and furrow cultivation in the suitable flat ground around it, which may have removed any trace of earlier features. The area immediately W of the churchyard enclosure is subsumed under a raft of field clearance and it is recommended that this area be cleared and evaluated with trial trenching to test the integrity of the archaeological deposit.

Geophysical survey using both earth resistance and gradiometry techniques in the Lon an t-Sagairt field to the N revealed possible linear features and an apparent rectilinear enclosure, but these did not appear to relate to the church site above. Walkover survey identified part of the main rampart of the hillfort at Creagan na Ceardaich Mor to the N of the church, along with an upstanding rectilinear banked structure at its lower slope. These stone and turf-defined features and a single 20 x 10m area of the hillfort summit were surveyed with resistivity but proved inconclusive due to field clearance and heavy overgrowth of vegetation. It is recommended that the hillfort and banked structures at its foot be cleared and properly recorded with the aim of identifying possible dating by morphology.

Finally, preliminary photogrammetric models were created from the Kildalton High Cross and the adjacent Thief’s Cross by Heather Christie which raise new questions about the monuments and their setting; these are now available to view online via Sketchfab. The cairn of the Thief’s Cross is set within a peculiar ring ditch with outer bank, which is shown to be sub-square in form by the digital model; it is possible that this medieval cross is set atop a reused ancient burial monument but only excavation may shed more light. It is recommended that a full photogrammetric survey of the early and late medieval stones be carried out for conservation


Archive: NRHE

Funder: Historic Environment Scotland

Adrian Maldonado – University of Glasgow

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

OASIS ID: universi22-285817


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