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Cambusnethan, St Michael's Church And Graveyard

Burial Ground (Post Medieval), Church (Medieval), Cross Slab (Medieval)

Site Name Cambusnethan, St Michael's Church And Graveyard

Classification Burial Ground (Post Medieval), Church (Medieval), Cross Slab (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Cambusnethan, Old Church

Canmore ID 45720

Site Number NS75SE 4

NGR NS 7676 5402

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council North Lanarkshire
  • Parish Cambusnethan
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Motherwell
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, cross-shaft fragment

Measurements: H 0.86m above the tenon, W 0.41m, D 0.15m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NS 8068 5537

Present location: Summerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge, on loan from National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (X.IB. 2.49)

Evidence for discovery: first recorded standing upright in the churchyard at Cambusnethan in 1898, and was later transferred to Cambusnethan Cemetery. It was given to NMAS in Edinburgh in 1937 in exchange for a replica.

Present condition: there is edge damage and the carving is very weathered.


This fragment is the lower part of a cross-shaft with a short tenon by which it could be fixed in a stone base. It is carved in relief on all four vertical faces, within a plain flat-band moulding.

Face A has two and part of a third panel of ornament surviving: at the base a figural scene with three tall and one short (a child?) human figure, all apparently naked; above them a swastika key pattern; and above that the start of a panel of interlace. Both the key pattern and interlace have median-incised cords. The swastika pattern is repeated on face C, along with four-cord plait, all with median-incised cords. At the bottom is a loop, perhaps a serpent.

Both narrow faces B and D contain square key pattern.

Date: tenth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 461-2.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2019.

Archaeology Notes

NS75SE 4.00 7676 5402.

NS75SE 4.01 76771 54028 Belhaven and Stevenson Mausoleum

(NS 7676 5402) Site of Church (NR)

OS 6" map (1938)

The old Cambusnethan church which stood in the south of the parish near the river Clyde is mentioned in a charter of 1232 and is probably the St Michael's Church mentioned in old charters in 1495. In 1650 the church was abandoned, and a new church erected (Lanark 18 NE 2). All that existed in 1859 were the wall around the burial ground, and the outline of the western portion of the church.

P Brown 1859

No vestige of St Michael's Church remains, except that a slightly raised platform on the west side of the 19th century mortuary vaults may indicate the western outline of the building. It would appear that the vaults occupy the site. There are many 17th century,and possibly earlier, gravestones in the burial ground.

Visited by OS (JLD) 29 September 1953

Cambusnethan church was dedicated to St Nechtan. There was a chapel dedicated to St Michael of the Manor Place of Cambusnethan.

H Scott 1920.


Desk Based Assessment

NS85NW 1.01 806 553.

Found in the old churchyard of Cambusnethan in 1898; now in the Royal Museum of Scotland (RMS, IB 2 49).

Scot Antiq 1899; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1938.

Information from OS.


The cross slab was formerly and incorrectly recorded against Cambusnethan Parish Church.

Information from HES.


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