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Logie Coldstone, cross-marked stone 160m north east of Kirklands

A Scheduled Monument in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1382 / 57°8'17"N

Longitude: -2.9394 / 2°56'21"W

OS Eastings: 343242

OS Northings: 805647

OS Grid: NJ432056

Mapcode National: GBR WK.493Y

Mapcode Global: WH7N1.TVG4

Entry Name: Logie Coldstone, cross-marked stone 160m NE of Kirklands

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1923

Last Amended: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM80

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: sculptured stone (not ascribed to a more specific type)

Location: Logie-Coldstone

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises an early Christian cross-marked stone that lies within Kirkhill burial ground, situated 1250 m NNW of the hamlet of Logie Coldstone. It was first scheduled in the 1930s and is being rescheduled to clarify the extent of the scheduled area.

In the early 20th century the cross-marked stone was in use as the headstone of a grave, but has since been built into the W face of a low wall, which also supports four fine post-medieval graveslabs. The wall may mark the position of the E end of the former parish church of Coldstone, which is recorded as having stood a little N of the centre of the graveyard until demolished at the end of the 17th century when the parish was united with Logie.

The cross-marked stone of whinstone is an irregular oval shape measuring approximately 0.5 by 0.3 m. It bears a neatly carved relief Latin cross with hollows at the angles of the arms, set in a recessed background. Its presence in the churchyard suggests that this location has had an ecclesiastical association since at least the late 7th or early 8th centuries AD.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the cross-marked stone, to include the monument, the wall into which it is set, the four graveslabs supported by the wall and an area around affording protection, as shown in red on the accompanying plan. The scheduling excludes the Reid family grave, sited immediately to the W of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological and historical significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is located within Kirkhill graveyard, the site of a medieval church dedicated to St Neachtan and the focus of the medieval parish of Coldstone. It is a well-preserved carved stone bearing a distinctive form of cross that probably dates to the late 7th or early 8th centuries AD. Carved stones such as this are particularly important evidence for the early church in Scotland because we have little archaeological evidence for contemporary sites, a low survival of Pictish liturgical metalwork and an absence of manuscripts. They also hint at the nature of some of our missing liturgical resources, such as venerated art objects.

Contextual characteristics: We can compare and contrast the geographical location and artistic detail of this monument to other early medieval carved stones in Scotland to provide information about the spread of Christianity into NE Scotland and the relationship of early church sites to the subsequent establishment of the parish system.

Cross-marked stones originated in Pictland because of 6th-7th century Irish missionary work. A range of cross types and techniques developed, with different types of crosses probably carrying different meanings. They are physical evidence for an active church in which sculpture played an important role, but one in which there is enormous regional variation. The cross-marked stones of Aberdeenshire are of particular interest because they survive in relatively large numbers, while further south relief-carved cross-slabs (often bearing Pictish symbols) are more common.

Associative characteristics: The cross-slab suggests that this location has had an ecclesiastical association since the second half of the 1st millennium AD. Later medieval documents indicate that Coldstone was a prebend of Aberdeen and the church was dedicated to St Neachtan of Mortlach. In the absence of a church, the cross-slab has been re-sited during the 20th century to form the historical centre-piece of the graveyard.

The design of the cross at Logie Coldstone, with its hollowed armpits, probably has its origins in Iona. When the Picts used such designs they may have had in mind the part that Iona played in their conversion and in the subsequent formative years of the church in Pictland.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it is a rare, well-preserved early Christian cross-marked stone. It therefore has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the development of early Christian art and monumental sculpture across Scotland, but particularly in the NE, the spread of Christianity in Scotland and the role that sculpture actively played in the Pictish church. The loss of the monument would affect our ability to chart the adoption of Christianity by the Pictish people who inhabited this region between the 4th and 9th centuries, particularly since the surviving historical record for the period is extremely limited.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the monument as part of NJ40NW 5.

References:

Henderson G and Henderson I 2004, THE ART OF THE PICTS, London, 165.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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