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Scalpay, Teampull Fraing

Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Site Name Scalpay, Teampull Fraing

Classification Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Francaig

Canmore ID 319476

Site Number NG62NW 1.01

NGR NG 6285 2816

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Strath
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire


Field Visit (11 May 1914)


A few yards west of Teampull Fraing stands a narrow, undressed slab of red grit, 3 feet 9 inches above ground, 8½ inches in breadth for the greater part of its length, and varying from 3 inches to 5 inches in thickness. On the eastern face it bears a rude Latin cross, the outline of which is formed by incised lines continued across the intersection of the shaft and arms, the ends of the top, arms and base being curved. It measures 16 inches in length and 6 3/8 inches across the arms. The top measures 4 inches in length and 1 ¼ inches in breadth, the arms 2 ½ inches in length and 1 ½ inches in breadth, and the shaft 10 ½ inches in length and from 1 3/8 inches to 1 ¼ inches in breadth. It is placed slightly to the dexter side of the medial line of the slab about 13 inches from the top.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 11 May 1914.

Reference (2001)

This island is separated from the NE coast of Skye by a channel which at its SE end is about 450m wide. It measures 7km from NW to SE by 5km and rises to a summit of 390m, with steep slopes falling to the sea for much of its perimeter. The only significant area of level ground, and the former centre of population, is in the vicinity of Scalpay House on the SE coast. The ruin of Teampull Fraing (1), a small lime-mortared chapel, stands in a quadrangular burial-ground 300m SW of Scalpay House, on the N bank of the Allt na Sean Chille ('stream of the old burial-ground / chapel') and 150m from the shore. There are also remains of a chapel on the smaller and low-lying island of Pabay, 5km to the ESE (2).

To the W of the chapel there is an L-shaped upright slab, heavily weathered and lichen-stained. It measures 1.12m in visible height, 0.21m in width in the lower part and 0.17m above, and about 100mm in thickness. On the E face there is an outline Latin cross, 0.41m high by 0.17m across the arms. It is possible that the grooves of the shaft and transom are continued with shallower incisions at their intersection, but the arms have plain terminals rather than rounded ones as has been suggested.


(1) RCAHMS 1928, No.646. It was supposedly dedicated to St Francis (NSA, 14 (Inverness-shire), 305, giving the name as Teampull Frangaig; Name Book, Inverness-shire (Skye), No.11, p.33).

(2) RCAHMS 1928, No.647; NMRS database NG62NE 1.

I Fisher 2001


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