MHG14373 - Burial - Crois Mhor, Eigg


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BURIAL (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NM48NE 21 c491 854.

(Area: NM 491 854) About 1830, a Viking grave was discovered in a hillock just below the division fence in a field called Dail Sithean (the field of the tumulus), halfway between St Donan's Church (NM48NE/SE 19, at NM 488 853) and the rocks to the E.
The finds, which are now in the NMAS, comprise: a sword handle of bronze and silver (Acc No: IL 157) - this dates to between 830 and 850 AD; a few thin plates of bronze; part of a buckle (IL 178); a whetstone, and a triangular piece of metal (? tripod vessel foot) (IL 158).
N MacPherson 1878; NMAS Catalogue 1892; S Grieg 1940; Kelvingrove Museum 1951

There is no local knowledge of this grave, nor of the name 'Dail Sithean'. The most likely spot is a prominent natural rise at NM 4908 8531 in a pasture field.
Visited by OS (AA) 7 May 1972

‘A magnificent Viking sword was found on Eigg when a mound was levelled in about 1830, near to the chapel of Kildonnan, together with parts of a bronze-mounted bucket and a (lost) whetstone, as well as what appears to be a medieval bronze pot-leg – and thus is intrusive. The sword-blade no longer survives, but the hilt is a splendid piece of ninth-century craftsmanship. Recent analysis has shown that its cast components are basically brass and so would have had a golden appearance, but they are further decorated with silver wires and plates, the latter having stamped ornament inlaid with niello; the whole was assembled over a cement core.' <1>

IL 178, described above as 'part of a buckle' is described in the NMS catalogue as 'Bronze buckle, 3 1/4" long, ornamented circular pattern'. The 'part of a buckle' referred to above is actually likely to be referring to IL 159 (not IL 178), which in the NMS catalogue was initially described as 'Part of a buckle of brass', but later identified as a bronze bucket mount. Futher components of this bucket are listed in the catalogue, IL 159 A through to IL 159 G. It is unclear where the IL 178 described in the catalogue is from, listed only as 'Kildonan, Eigg', but given that it was acquired in the same year (1878) together with the assemblage from this burial and the burials at the cairns at MHG3968, it is likely to be from one of these sites. <2>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NM 4910 8539 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM48NE
Civil Parish SMALL ISLES
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (5)

  • MOUNT (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • SWORD (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • TRIPOD VESSEL (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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