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Innerleithen Parish Church

Cross (Early Medieval)

Site Name Innerleithen Parish Church

Classification Cross (Early Medieval)

Canmore ID 53174

Site Number NT33NW 9

NGR NT 33208 36949

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Innerleithen
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Tweeddale
  • Former County Peebles-shire

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, cross-shaft

Measurements: H 0.81m, W 0.36m, D 0.23m < 0.31m

Stone type: pale freestone

Place of discovery: NT 3320 3694

Present location: inside Innerleithen Church.

Evidence for discovery: found during demolition of the earlier church in 1871 in the foundations. The cross-base was found at the same time but was broken up. The shaft fragment was set up on a plinth in a garden in Innerleithen, before being moved first to stand outside the church and later within the church.

Present condition: broken at the top.


This is the basal portion of a cross-shaft with very unusual ornament carved in relief. The edges are rounded and plain. All four faces bear variations on the same pattern of cup-shaped hollows surrounded by two concentric circles, the outer of which is linked by a bar to the next circle. Face A has three vertical rows of three or more linked circles, face B has two rows of two and three circles, plus an extra circle, face C has three rows of two and three circles, and face D has one row of more than two circles and one row of more than three circles.

Date: ninth or tenth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 429-31; RCAHMS 1967, no 378.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NT33NW 9 33208 36949

NT33NW 46 3343 3751 Innerleithen Parish Church (Demolished)

NT33NW 125 33192 36947 Innerleithen Parish Church (New)

(NT 3320 3695) Cross (NR)

OS 6" map (1964)


In 1871, when the old church of Innerleithen was demolished, there was found in its foundations the lower end of an early cross-shaft, together with the base into which it had originally fitted. The base was broken up, but the shaft is now set up on a modern pedestal outside the E end of the present parish church.

The fragment is of light-coloured freestone, oblong in section but with rounded angles; it is 2'8" long. All four faces are decorated, in pecked technique, with a regular pattern of cup-shaped hollows surrounded by double circles, the outer circles being linked together by vertical lines.

C A R Radford considers that, while a free-standing cross with a rectangular shaft cannot be earlier than the 8th century, so regular a design is unlikely to be later than c.900 AD.

RCAHMS 1967, visited 1957



This shaft is as described.

Visited by OS (EGC) 19 June 1961 and (SFS) 5 September 1974

Architecture Notes



Repair of the Kirk, manse and offices.

Division of the cost, which is £48.4.6, among the heritors.

GD 178/Bpx 3 1755

Estimate for a loft for the West end of Innerleithen Church.

It amounts to £28.2.6.

GD 178/Box 3 1779

Seating accommodation in the new church.

Memorial for Alexander Horsburgh who feels that because he has allowed access to the church through his property, he should be given sufficient seating accommodation in the church.

GD 178/Box 3 1786


Publication Account (1985)

When the old parish church at Innerleithen was demolished in 1871, the lower end of an early crossshaft was found in its foundations. All four faces are decorated with a regular pattern of cup-shaped hollows surrounded by double circles. The outer circles are linked together with vertical grooves to give a series of , dumb-bell' patterns, pecked into the stone.

Information from 'Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and Borders', (1985).

External Reference (5 December 2014)

This monument was excluded from the schedule of monuments compiled and maintained under section 1(1) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Information from Historic Scotland, 5th December 2014

Sbc Note (15 April 2016)

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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