Ancient Monuments

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Camus's Cross, cross 270 ENE of Downie Hills Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Carnoustie and District, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5307 / 56°31'50"N

Longitude: -2.7825 / 2°46'57"W

OS Eastings: 351965

OS Northings: 737910

OS Grid: NO519379

Mapcode National: GBR VP.TKPN

Mapcode Global: WH7R7.738S

Entry Name: Camus's Cross, cross 270 ENE of Downie Hills Cottage

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1923

Last Amended: 31 March 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM148

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Monikie

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Carnoustie and District

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is an elaborately carved, free-standing stone cross, dating to the Pictish period, probably the 8th century AD. This type of Pictish stone is known as Class III. It comprises an upstanding cross carved from sandstone, measuring about 2m high, with arms 0.8m across and 0.2m thick. The cross faces E-W and is carved on all sides. The carved decoration is exceptionally well-preserved, especially on the E face. The front and back faces are both divided into three panels. The front displays the Crucifixion, spanning across the arms of the cross; below this is a Sagittarius, and below that are scrolls of foliage. On the back of the cross the top and side arms display Christ holding a book in his left hand and giving a benediction with his right, with an angel on either side. The lower two panels contain pairs of ecclesiastics or evangelists, also carrying books. Both sides of the cross are decorated with scrolls of foliage. The cross stands close to, but not in, its original location, on a small mound to the side of a tree-lined avenue running from Panmure House to the Panmure Testimonial monument. The mound measures approximately 7.5m E-W by 4.4m, and stands to 1m high. The monument was first scheduled in 1935, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 10m in diameter, focused on the stone and its modern base, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the adjacent wooden fire tower and the top 300mm of the gravel path to allow for their maintenance.

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 its original form, and the decorative carvings survive in very good condition and are still visible on all of its faces. There is high potential for comparative study of the ornament of Camus's Cross with that of other Pictish carved stones. It also retains significance within the locality, continuing to be a focal point within the local community and situated close to its original location. There is good potential to study the location and form of this cross with others across Angus, and to study its relationship with other broadly contemporary places of worship to better understand the origins, development and organisation of the early church in Scotland. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand ecclesiastical sculpture, stone carvings and the early Christian church, both in Angus and Scotland as a whole.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

RCAHMS record the monument as NO53NW 3. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record both record the monument as NO53NW 0003.


Allen and Anderson, J R and J 1903, The early Christian monuments of Scotland: a classified illustrated descriptive list of the monuments with an analysis of their symbolism and ornamentation, Edinburgh, 252.

Borland, J, Fraser, I and Sherriff, J 2007, 'Eight socket stones from eastern Scotland', Tayside Fife Archaeol Jour 13, 109.

Coutts, H 1970, Ancient monuments of Tayside, Dundee, 55, no 7.

Henderson, I 1983, 'Pictish vine-scroll ornament', in O'Connor, A and Clarke, D V (eds) From the Stone Age to the 'Forty-Five': studies presented to R B K Stevenson, Former Keeper, National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Edinburgh, 243, 6.

Jervise, A 1859, 'Notices descriptive of the localities of certain sculptured stone monuments in Forfarshire, viz.,- Benvie, and Invergowrie; Strathmartin, and Balutheran; Monifieth; Cross of Camus, and Arbirlot. Part III', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 2, 447-8.

Stuart, J 1856, Sculptured stones of Scotland, vol 1, Aberdeen, 26.

Warden, A J 1880-5, Angus or Forfarshire: the land and people, descriptive and historical, 5v, Dundee, vol 1, 30-1; vol 2, 402-3.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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