MHG464 - Cross, Keil Church

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CROSS (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

For Medieval church and churchyard see SMR NM64NE0001
For Medieval Graveslabs see SMR NM64NE0002
For present church see SMR NM64NE0003
For session house see SMR NM64NE0035

Details updated by JW 19/2/02

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NMRS Notes

NM64NE 4 6709 4512

For present (NM 6709 4519) and old (NM 6704 4512) churches, see NM64NE 1 and 2 respectively.

(NM 6709 4512) Cross (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

This free-standing disc-headed cross now stands 50m S of Keil Church (NM64NE 1). It measures 2.45m high, 0.28m wide by 0.14m thick at the base of the shaft, and 0.22m wide by 0.11m thick at the neck. It is not in its original position, and may originally have stood in the adjacent churchyard. Unusually, the arms splay outwards in profile and their ends are keeled. On the S face a small boss in the centre of the disc is surrounded by plaitwork with linking leaf-sprays in the arms, while the shaft is ornamented with two intertwined plant-scrolls which terminate at the base in a pair of opposed dragons' heads. The decoration on the N face is similar except that two types of plant-scroll are employed and there is only one dragon's head. The style of sculpture is of the Iona school, dateable to the 14th-15th century.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
K A Steer and J W M Bannerman 1977; RCAHMS 1980.
Visited by OS (NKB) 11 June 1970.

The monument consists of a free-standing late-medieval disc-headed cross, set into a socket stone, standing 50m S of the 19th-century Keil Church. The cross stands approximately 50m due E of the remains of the medieval church, and approximately 20m E of the present boundary wall of the burial ground. It faces N and S, although originally it is likely to have faced E and W, suggesting it and its socket stone have been re-erected at some time in its history. Its location outwith the burial ground is not necessarily significant, as similar crosses survive from contexts both within and outwith burial grounds.
The cross measures 2.45m high, 0.28m wide by 0.14m thick at the base of the shaft, and 0.22 m wide by 0.11m thick at the neck. The arms splay outwards in profile and their ends are keeled. The disc head on both sides is filled with plait-work surrounding a small boss, with sprays of foliage in each arm. The S face of the shaft is carved with a double scroll of foliage, terminating at the base in a pair of opposed dragons' heads. The N face bears a single scroll of foliage (springing at the base from a single dragon's head) which divides into a double scroll about two-thirds of the way up. The cross appears to be of the Iona school, and can be dated to the 14th-15th centuries. It bears a strong resemblance to 3 crosses on Islay (those at Kildalton, Keills and Finlaggan) and may even be from the same workshop.
The socket stone is rectangular and itself rests on the ground.
It has been suggested that the burial ground may originally have extended as far as the site of the cross, but there are no visible traces of this.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated February 1996.

Sources/Archives (4)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NM 6708 4511 (10m by 10m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NM64NE
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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