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Abercrombie Church, Abercromby 1

Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Site Name Abercrombie Church, Abercromby 1

Classification Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Chapel

Canmore ID 319281

Site Number NO50SW 1.01

NGR NO 52189 03433

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish St Monance
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife


Abercrombie 1, Fife, two fragments of a cross-slab

Measurements: 1, H 0.47m, W 0.41m, D 0.19m; 1a, H 0.46m, W 0.46m, D 0.17m

Stone type: reddish sandstone

Place of discovery: NO 52189 03433

Present location: at Abercrombie Church.

Evidence for discovery: recorded around 1850 by Stuart, re-used in the wall of the church. John Gifford attributes the creation of the north door using fragments of medieval gravestones to a reconstruction of 1597-1602, while the church was still in use as the parish church (1988, 86). Fragment 1 is set as part of the left-hand jamb (as seen from outside the church), about half-way up the jamb, and fragment 1a is set in the same position in the opposite right-hand jamb.

Present condition: very weathered.


These two fragments appear to represent the top and a lower portion of a cross-slab, which was at least c 1.20m high and was carved in relief on all four faces. Fragment 1 is face A, and within a roll moulding it bears a plain outline cross, itself bordered by a roll moulding. The panels on either side of the upper arm and flanking the shaft are carved with loose double-strand knotwork within a roll moulded border. Narrow face D bears a panel of running spiral work within a roll moulding. Fragment 1a displays part of faces B and C. Face C has two narrow panels of running spiral work flanking a plain panel, which could be part of the shaft of a cross, like that on face A. Narrow face B bears a panel of running spiral work.

Date: ninth or tenth century.

References: Stuart 1856, pl 124: ECMS pt 3, 347-8 (Abercromby); Gifford 1988.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016


Reference (1903)

Abercromby No. 1 is the upper part of an upright cross-slab of sandstone, of rectangular shape, 1 foot 10 inches high by 1 foot 5 inches wide by 8 inches thick, sculptured in relief on two faces thus-

Frint.- In the middle of the slab, the head of a cross, unornamented. The two panels of the background of the cross on each side of the top arm and the parts of the two panels on each side of the bottom arm contains four-cord plaits with double-beaded bands.

Left side.- A single panel, containing spiral-work.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903

Photographic Survey (March 1993)

Photographs of the carved stones in Abercrombie churchyard, Fife by Tom E Gray in 1993.


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