MHG1852 - Cross Inscribed Stone, Lybster Church


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Type and Period (1)

  • CROSS INCISED STONE (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

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Full Description

Sculptured Stone: A roughly triangular stone, about 2x3ft, lies on a grassy slope between two ranges of cottages, aligned N-S, to NE of Lybster Harbour, and some 40 yds S of northernmost cottages. An equal-limbed Celtic cross, 20ins wide, is cut across its right corner. About 1726 (Macfarlane 1906-8) the stone was said to lie 'on the face of a brae above the inlett of this burn (Risgil) to which.... many frequented in the time of superstition.'
W Macfarlane 1906-8; RCAHMS 1911.

(ND 2479 3564) This cross-inscribed stone is now in Lybster Congregational Churchyard, 13ft E of NW corner. It was moved, for its preservation, at instigation of Rev Robert Wilson on 23rd October 1935. In April 1964 clerk of Congregational Board confirmed that stone was under a shelter in churchyard. He said that it was believed to have been dug up near Well of the Brethren (ND 2424 3494) when Lybster harbour was being built several years before 1840 (NSA 1845).
NSA 1845; Info from P R Ritchie, DoE to OS (file No. SC 24028/1A)

A cross-inscribed stone, as described and illustrated by RCAHMS. Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 11 May 1967.

ND 2481 3610. This stone was moved from Lybster Congregational Church to Central Church, Lybster in 1972-3 (info from Mr Gunn, Post office, Lybster).
C Batey 1982.

The stone is under a shelter in the position noted by Batey.
Visited by OS (J M) 24 March 1983.

Lybster, Caithness, cross-marked boulder
Measurements: L 0.91m, W 0.66m
Stone type: yellow sandstone
Place of discovery: ND c 247355
Present location: Lybster Central Church.
Evidence for discovery: recorded c1726 and in 1910 by RCAHMS, in a field to the NE of Lybster harbour. In 1935 it was moved to Lybster Congregational Church graveyard, and thence in 1972 or 1973 to Lybster Central Church.
Present condition: good
A natural boulder on which an equal-armed cross had been cut, with an internal cross of the same shape.
Date: eighth or ninth century.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, A Ritchie 2016

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 2479 3609 (10m by 10m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND23NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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