Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tarfside, cross-incised stone 650m west of St Drostan

A Scheduled Monument in Brechin and Edzell, Angus

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Latitude: 56.9064 / 56°54'23"N

Longitude: -2.8482 / 2°50'53"W

OS Eastings: 348444

OS Northings: 779772

OS Grid: NO484797

Mapcode National: GBR WN.LYZM

Mapcode Global: WH7P8.6NZV

Entry Name: Tarfside, cross-incised stone 650m W of St Drostan

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1936

Last Amended: 31 March 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM160

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone

Location: Lochlee

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Brechin and Edzell

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is a cross-incised stone, dating probably to sometime between AD 500 and 1000. The stone is a rough boulder of whinstone measuring about 0.8m by 0.5m by 0.4m. Lines have been incised on its N face to form broad channels outlining a simple Latin cross. The stone leans towards the S at an angle of about 40 degrees to the vertical. The cross-incised stone stands 240m above sea level, just S of a track that leads W from Tarfside across SE-facing moorland.

The scheduled area comprises the stone and its footprint, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes a group of quartz pebbles placed on the ground on the S side of the stone. The monument was first scheduled in 1936, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present scheduling rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to our knowledge of the past, particularly our appreciation and understanding of early ecclesiastical sculpture and the development of Christianity. It has the potential to further our understanding of how such stone carvings were made, their functions, and their role in contemporary religious practices. The cross retains much of its original form, and there is potential to study the location and form of this cross with others across Scotland, and to study its relationship with other broadly contemporary places of worship to enhance understanding of the origins, development and organisation of the early church in Scotland. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand early Christian ecclesiastical sculpture and stone carvings and the development of Christianity in eastern Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

RCAHMS record the monument as NO47NE 1. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO47NE0001.

ReferencesJervise, A 1853, The history and traditions of the land of the Lindsays in Angus and Mearns, with notices of Alyth and Meigle , Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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