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Largo

Cross Slab (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Largo

Classification Cross Slab (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Largo Cross; Largo Parish Church

Canmore ID 32773

Site Number NO40SW 2

NGR NO 4234 0347

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/32773

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

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Largo
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Largo, Fife, Pictish cross-slab

Measurements: H 1.98m, W 0.76m, D 0.15m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery:

Present location: Largo churchyard, set against the churchyard wall.

Evidence for discovery: broken into two roughly equal fragments, one fragment was discovered during quarrying on the north side of Norrie’s Law and the other almost a kilometre away, re-used as a drain cover, in 1839. Cemented together, the stone was erected in the grounds of Largo House and later (before the end of the century) removed to stand in the kitchen garden at Polton House, Midlothian. By 1933 it had been taken back to Largo and erected in a shelter just inside the gate to the churchyard.

Present condition: worn and damaged.

Description

The slab has been shaped to a rectangle with a rounded top and it is carved in relief on both broad faces. On face A, a cross occupies the length and breadth of the slab, the rounded top of which follows the ring of the cross. The head of the cross is equal-armed with rectangular terminals, and the shaft is set into a rectangular base. The cross is outlined by a roll moulding, and Stuart shows ornament filling the ring as well as the head and the top of the shaft (the lower and left-hand area are severely defaced). To the right of the shaft is a pair of entwined sea-horses, and Stuart shows a large human figure to the left of the shaft. Face C shows a hunting scene in the upper half, with three horsemen and at least two hounds, all moving to the left. There are traces of some creature behind the lower rider. In front of the two lower riders is a double disc and Z-rod symbol set vertically, and there appears to have been interlace inside the discs. Below is a Pictish beast facing left, and below again a deer looking back at another deer.

Date: ninth century.

References: Stuart 1856, pl 66; ECMS pt 3, 344-7; Fraser 2008, no 82.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NO40SW 2 4234 0347

(NO 4176 0339) Sculptured Stone (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1938)

A portion of this stone called 'Largo Cross', was found some years ago when a section of the north side of Norrie's Law (NO40NW 3) was removed. The other portion was found afterwards about a mile away from this.

Name Book 1854

A sculptured stone was found on the south of Largo estate in 1839, when one portion of it was serving as a drain-cover, a mile away from the other. It was set up in the grounds at Largo House but later was removed to Arniston, Midlothian, and then brought back to Largo Church, where it stands in a roofed and grilled enclosure just within the gateway.

It is an upright slab of red sandstone, 6 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by 5 1/2 inches, and of nearly rectangular form with a rounded top. On the front is sculptured a Celtic cross, and a pair of sea-horses. On the reverse, horseback men, a double disc and Z-rod and the elephant symbol.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; RCAHMS 1933.

Activities

Field Visit (16 October 1962)

The stone is as described by RCAHMS and is now set up within the west gateway of Largo parish church, at NO 4234 0347.

Visited by OS (EGC), 16 October 1962.

Reference (1997)

Class II symbol stone.On the reverse are three mounted figures and two hounds with a double-disc and Z-rod to the left, part of a mirror to the right and an elephant below.Underneath are two 'deer like' creatures.

A Mack 1997.

References

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