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Kilfinan 3

Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Site Name Kilfinan 3

Classification Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Canmore ID 319831

Site Number NR97NW 14.03

NGR NR 9340 7889

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/319831

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

Administrative Areas

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

Activities

Field Visit (7 November 1972)

This cross, and one other, similar to it, have been moved into the Lamont crypt, on the N side of Kilfinan church, where several other crosses are stored.

Visited by OS (I A) 7 November 1972.

Field Visit (August 1988)

(3) Slab of chlorite-schist with curved sides, 2.05m by 0.61m at the centre; it also tapers in thickness from a maximum of 0.11m at the centre. The surface is much worn and one top corner is cut away. On one face (a), within an incised margin with slightly rounded arrises, there is a large ringed cross with beaded edges, round sunken armpits and broad double-beaded ring-quadrants. At the centre of the cross-head there is a roundel of interlace, and the short side arms appeared to have contained spiral-ornament while the much-worn top arm and the lower arm contain key-pattern, continued in the shaft as a series of four spiral roundels or flat bosses, each producing two creatures having serpents 'bodies and dragons' heads with wide biting jaws. The left spandrel above the cross bears traces of interlace, but there is no surviving ornament to the right. In the lower right spandrel there is a curved-bodied animal with ?lappeted head turned back to bite its own tail, whose legs appear to merge into a broad plait flanking the shaft, and to the left there is a similar but upright animal with spiral tail above similar interlace.

On face b, there is at the right an incised margin about 50mm wide and at the left a natural bevel bearing a much damaged three-strand plait. At the top there is an equal armed interlaced cross within a beaded margin, with sunken armpits and a double-beaded ring resembling that on face a. In the upper left spandrel there is a bird, and to the right a beast, and below the cross there are, to the left a round headed ?lion, to the right a ?griffon, and below the shaft a quadruped with a tail and an extra front limb, perhaps a centaur, and another small animal. Below a central interlaced knot the remainder of the face is filled by four pairs of interlaced roundels, each producing three dragon-snakes having, at the edges, protruding tongues and biting fangs and, where their heads meet in pairs or fours, gaping jaws. Occasional gaps at the edges are filled with interlace. At the foot of this face there is a slightly-recessed butt 0.21m high. The left edge of the slab (c) bears interlace which in the thickest part merges with key pattern incorporating occasional spirals, while the right edge is plain. The snake-and-boss ornament of this slab, which formerly stood in the churchyard, appears to be inspired by that of the 8th-century Iona crosses, but the form of the cross-heads suggests a later period, perhaps the 9th or 10th century. (ECMS, 3, 391, fig.409).

RCAHMS 1992, visited August 1988

Reference (2001)

(3) Slab with curved sides, 2.05m by 0.61m, much worn and lacking one top corner. On face (a), within an incised margin, is a large ringed cross with beaded edges, round sunken armpits and broad double-beaded ring-quadrants. In the head is a roundel of interlace, and the side-arms contained spiral-ornament while the top and lower arms contain key-pattern, linked in the shaft to four spiral roundels or flat bosses, each producing two creatures having serpents' bodies and dragons' heads with wide biting jaws. The left upper spandrel bears traces of interlace. In the lower spandrels there are curved-bodied animals above broad plaits which flank the shaft.

Face (b) has at the right an incised margin and at the left a natural bevel bearing a much-damaged three-strand plait. At the top is an equal-armed interlaced cross within a beaded margin, with sunken armpits and a double-beaded ring resembling that on face (a). In the upper spandrels are a bird and a beast, and below the cross there are four other creatures. Below a central interlaced knot the remainder of the face is filled by four pairs of interlaced roundels, each producing three dragon-snakes having biting fangs or gaping jaws. The left edge (c) bears interlace which at the centre merges with key-pattern and occasional spirals.

I Fisher 2001.

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