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Inveraray Castle, cross

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.2371 / 56°14'13"N

Longitude: -5.0728 / 5°4'22"W

OS Eastings: 209658

OS Northings: 709200

OS Grid: NN096092

Mapcode National: GBR 00.C0C2

Mapcode Global: WH1JP.1HND

Entry Name: Inveraray Castle, cross

Scheduled Date: 4 November 1927

Last Amended: 14 March 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM253

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Inveraray

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument consists of a late-medieval disc-headed cross with a socket stone, brought to Inveraray during the late 19th Century, and re-erected as a garden ornament close to the SE front of the Castle.

The cross-shaft is incomplete, but the head and the greater part of the shaft survive, only the foot of the shaft being reconstructed. At present the cross stands to a height of 2.2m above the base. Of this the original fragments measure 1.64m. The span of the arms was 0.47m before the breaking-off of the left-hand arm, which is now missing. The front of the disc shows Christ crucified flanked by St Mary and St John, within a border of trefoiled leaves. The upper arm bears a figure of St Michael slaying the dragon and the side arms are blank. The back of the disc bears a hunting scene within a similar border and, in the upper arm, a bishop or abbot carrying a crozier and in the act of blessing. The shaft is carved both front and back with interlaced foliage, springing (on the back) from an armed mounted figure at its foot. Stylistically, the cross-shaft closely resembles MacLean's Cross in Iona and MacMillan's Cross at Kilmory Knap.

The socket stone measures 0.84m square by 0.15m in height, and is covered in foliage ornament. It bears a dedicatory inscription to Abbot Finguine, probably the abbot of Iona of that name who ruled c1357-c1408. The socket appears to be too large for the shaft, and the suggested dating for the shaft of the second half of the 15th Century implies that the two were not always associated.

Cross-shaft and -base were brought from the site of the important medieval church at Kirkapoll on Tiree during the late 19th Century.

The area to be scheduled measures 1m by 1m, centred on the cross and aligned with its base, to include only the cross and its base, as indicated in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved late-medieval cross, the base of which is considered to be the most elaborate and best-preserved of its type in the W Highlands and the shaft of which is stylistically closely related to two crosses in the guardianship of Scottish Ministers. Despite the fact that it has been removed from its original position, it has potential to contribute to our understanding of medieval ecclesiastical organisation in Scotland and the organisation and development of the West Highland school of sculpture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS 'Argyll', Vol. 3, 156.

RCAHMS 'Argyll', Vol. 7, 80.

Steer, K. A. and Bannerman, J. W. M, (1977) 'Late Medieval Monument Sculpture in the West Highlands' especially p 100-102.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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