MHG5725 - Churchton Bay, cross-incised stone


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

NG53NW 2 5455 3631.

NG 5455 3631 Cross (NR)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

On a sloping rock facing SE, immediately to the W of a shed on the S side of the old pier at Raasay and about 9' above high-water mark, is an incised Chi-Rho cross 3'7" in length. The head of the cross is formed by four intersecting curves within a square, the sides of which are 20" in length, and the shaft, 23 " in length and 2 1/2" in breadth for the greater part of its length is composed of a medial line between two marginal lines. Nearby was found a Pictish symbol stone bearing a similarly incised cross (RCAHMS 1928; PSAS 1907) (NG53NW 3). Crosses of this type are dated by Curle (C L Curle 1940) to the second half of the 7th century, but see Radford (C R Radford 1942) and Stevenson (R B K Stevenson 1955) who criticise this paper, and Galbraith (1933) who gives a second half of the 6th century date on the suggestion that it is connected with St. Moluag's mission to Raasay. It is mentioned by Boswell (F A Pottle and C H Bennett 1963) as the place where the Macleods of Raasay practised their devotions and noted by him as one of the St. Maol-luags sanctuary markers (q.v. NG53NW 4).
Name Book; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1907; C L Curle 1940; C R Radford 1942;
R B K Stevenson 97-128; F A Pottle and C H Bennett 1963; J J Galbraith 1933.

An incised cross as described above.
Surveyed at 1:2500

The carvings were recorded by ACFA in 2005 during their ongoing project to record the archaeological and historic monuments on Raasay. <1>

This cross-incised stone and the cross slab with Pictish symbols found nearby (MHG5726) exemplify the earliest phase of the interface between cross and symbol (Henderson & Henderson 2006, 174).

Add to bibliography:

Henderson, George and Isabel 2006. The Art of the Picts: Sculpture and Metalwork in Early Medieval Scotland, 174. <2>

The NMS lists a cast of a cross carved on a rock from near Raasay House. Acc. No. IN 224. <3>

Raasay 2, Skye & Lochalsh, cross-incised rock-face
Measurements: cross and shaft H 1.09m, W of cross-head 0.52m
Stone type: sandstone
Place of discovery: NG 5455 3631
Present location: on a south-east facing slope of the rock outcrop which divides Churchton Bay.
Evidence for discovery: this was probably the cross seen in 1773 by Boswell.
Present condition: weathered but the carving is clear.
Incised on a naturally smooth rock-face is a cross-of-arcs within a square frame, set on a cusped shaft with an inner vertical line. The cross-head has equal expanded arms, and there is a chi-rho scroll attached to the right-hand side of the upper arm.
Date range: seventh century.
Primary references: Richardson 1907, 435-6; Fisher 2001, 103.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, A Ritchie 2016

Sources/Archives (13)



Grid reference Centred NG 5455 3631 (5m by 5m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG53NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

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