MHG14233 - St Demhan's Cross, Creich


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Type and Period (1)

  • CROSS SLAB (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

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Full Description

The cross inscribed standing stone is free standing in the field to the E of the old church & cemetery. Both must have been positioned for a view up the firth and to a prominent mound on the other side. The side with the cross is largely flattened, the other sides are rougher. A hard pinkish stone that dies not otherwise appear to be common in the church or cemetery walls. Thee is one large cobble at its base on the E side, it is not certain whether this is a packing stone of fortuitous. Several mole hills near the stone show poor soil, but not finds. See photos - HAW 12/2004

NH68NW 4 6366 8919.

(NH 6362 8923) Church (NAT)
(NH 6364 8921) Tomb (NAT)
(NH 6366 8919) Standing Stone (NR)
OS 6" map, Sutherland, 1st ed., (1874)

(NH 6364 8921) Chapel (NR) (rems of)
(NH 6366 8919) St Demhan's Cross (NR) OS 6" map, (1971)

The parish church of Creich, built in 1790, still in use in 1909, but partially demolished by 1963, stands on or near site of its predecessor, dedicated to St Devenic, mentioned in the early 13th century and possibly rebuilt in 1619.
The 'Standing Stone' at NH 6366 8919 is an upright cross-slab bearing an incised Celtic cross with rounded armpits. A rough, unhewn block, 6ft 10ins high and 2ft wide, it is known as 'St Demhan's Cross' (OSA 1793), obviously from St Devenic, whose fair was still held at Creich in 1630. OSA 1793; Orig Paroch Scot 1855; Name Book 1874; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

95. Sculptured Cross, Creich.
Some 40 yards SE. of Creich Church is a rough unhewn block, with a long-shafted Celtic cross incised on the NE. face of it. The slab stands 6' 10" above ground, and is 2' wide. The cross is 4' 3" long ; the upper arm 10" across, the side arms 9", the stem 9". At 1' 7" from base it contracts to 7", and again swells out at the foot so as to form a base 4" deep. The angles are hollowed and rounded. The stone is known locally as 'St Demhan's Cross' (fig. 11 [SC 1665080]).
See Stat. Acct., viii. p. 372.
OS 6-inch map, Sutherland Sheet cxi.
RCAHMS 1911, visited (AOC) 8th July 1909.

The ruined church, the mausoleum, the cross-incised stone and St Demhan's Cross are as described by the previous authorities.
Visited by OS (J B) 12 September 1980.

Creich, St Demhan’s Cross (St Devenic), Sutherland, cross-slab
Measurements: H 2.08m, W 0.61m
Stone type:
Place of discovery: NH 6366 8919
Present location: in the churchyard of Creich old parish church.
Evidence for discovery: in situ.
Present condition: good.
The slab is deeply incised with a plain linear cross with rectangular terminals, the lower arm of which is demarcated on the shaft. The shaft stands on a small expanded base, and the armpits are open and circular.
Date: eighth to ninth century.
References: ECMS pt 3, 54-5.
Compiled by A Ritchie 2016, Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 6368 8918 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH68NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

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