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Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Site Name Lothbeg

Classification Cross Slab (Early Medieval)

Canmore ID 6934

Site Number NC90NE 1

NGR NC 9525 0993

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Loth
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Lothbeg, Sutherland, cross-slab fragment

Measurements: H 0.48m, W 0.31m, D 0.14m

Stone type: purple sandstone

Place of discovery: BC 9525 0993

Present location: Dunrobin Museum, Dunrobin Castle.

Evidence for discovery: found in 1869 during the construction of the railway cutting west of Lothbeg station, on the east side of the Loth Burn a short distance from the seashore.

Present condition: broken and worn.


This fragment belongs to one side of the slab and exhibits three carved faces, all worked in relief. Each of the broad faces bears the terminal of the side-arm of a cross, while the narrow face bears triangular interlace pattern, and the slab had a narrow plain flatband moulding along each edge. One of the crosses has a ring, and this is likely to be face A, in which case the fragment comes from the right-hand edge of the slab. Enough survives to show that the cross is edged with a roll moulding, the side-arm terminal is rectangular and the centre has a square, making stepped armpits. The side arm contains key pattern, the ring is ornamented with cable work and a triquetra fills the space between ring and armpit. There are also traces of knotwork above the side arm face. Face C bears a rectangular left-hand side arm outlined with roll moulding and infilled with interlace. The rounded arm pit contains a small boss, and there are traces of interlace below the side arm.

Date: ninth or tenth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 54.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NC90NE 1 9525 0993.

(NC 9525 0993) Cross Slab found AD 1869 (NAT)

OS 6"map, (1964)

A sculptured stone was found in 1869 during the construction of Lothbeg railway cutting. It is a portion of an upright cross-slab of purple sandstone, sculptured in relief on three sides.

Front: The left arm of a cross with circular hollows between the arms, ornamental with interlaced work with traces of interlaced work on the background.

Back: The right arm of a cross with square stepped hollows in the angles between the arms and a circular ring connecting them. The arm is ornamental with a key pattern, the circular ring with a sort of cable and the background with interlaced work.

Left Side: Triangular interlaced work. It measures 1ft 7ins long, 1ft wide and 5 1/2 ins thick. Metric measurement - 0.5m (base) x 0.37m x 0.39m (other two sides) x 0.15m (thick).

Now in Dunrobin Museum. No.21.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; RCAHMS 1911.

This cross slab is still in Dunrobin Museum. (Accession no. 1869.6)

Visited by OS (N K B) 23 April 1976.


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