Ancient Monuments

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Crois an Ollaimh, cross, 350m north east of Pennycross Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.3626 / 56°21'45"N

Longitude: -6.0387 / 6°2'19"W

OS Eastings: 150646

OS Northings: 726246

OS Grid: NM506262

Mapcode National: GBR CCGW.YL1

Mapcode Global: WGZFC.6BNP

Entry Name: Crois an Ollaimh, cross, 350m NE of Pennycross Cottage

Scheduled Date: 13 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9500

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing)

Location: Kilfinichen and Kilvickeon

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument, known as Crois an Ollaimh, the Beaton Cross or the Pennycross Cross, comprises the remains of a late medieval free standing Latin cross.

The monument stands on a stepped drystone base on the N side of the road from Pennyghael to Bunessan, some 800m W of the junction with the road to Carsaig. It is a roughly-hewn Latin cross of Moine granulite. At present the cross is only 1.28m in height, but originally it was probably taller, since the shaft extends for a further 0.57m into the base, without any sign of a butt, and is broken off at the bottom. As now visible, the shaft tapers from 0.34m to 0.23m in width, and from 0.10m to 0.06m in thickness. The maximum width across the arms is 0.53m.

Apart from modern graffiti, the W face of the cross is plain, but on the E face of the shaft are the much worn initials GMB and DMB in Roman capitals, divided by the year 1589. It seems probable that the initials stand for Gille-Coluim MacBethadh and his son Domnall, members of the Beaton family who, before the 17th century, used the surnames MacBethadh and Mac an Ollaimh indiscriminately. Pennycross is the traditional home of the Beatons of Mull, who like the Beatons of Islay, were physicians.

The area to be scheduled is a square with sides approximately 4.5m long and is defined by the metal railings which surround the cross, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. The scheduling includes the cross, the stepped drystone base and an area around it within which related material may be expected to be found. The modern railings are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a free-standing cross, which appears to have been erected in the immediate post-reformation period. The cross may represent the continued adherence to the Catholic faith by a prominent local family. Its importance is accentuated by its probable connection with the Beaton Family.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NR 72 SE 4.


RCAHMS (1980) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Argyll: an inventory of the ancient monuments, volume 3: Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early and medieval and later monuments of Iona) Edinburgh, 159-60, No. 319.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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