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Early Christian Remains, pp.19-24.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]



   THE MAIDEN STONE, in the parish of Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire. (Described in Dr. John Stuart’s Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. i. p. 3, and figured in plate ii. Engraved also in Gordon’s Itin. Sept. p. lix; Cordiner’s Romantic Views, p. 17, and in Archæologia Scotica, vol. ii. p. 315, plate vi.) 

   The Maiden Stone is a dressed slab of granite, 10 feet 6 inches high. One face is divided by mouldings into four unequal panels, the lower of which contains a sculptured double comb and a mirror; the second panel has the ‘elephant’ figure; the third the so-called oblong object and sceptre; and the fourth animals. On the other face is a cross surmounted by a figure, and at the base a panel filled with Celtic ornamentation. 


   SLAB WITH SCULPTURED CROSS, in the parish of Fowlis Wester, Perthshire. (Figured in Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. i. plate lx., with brief notice, p. 17.) 

   The slab is of old red sandstone, standing 8 feet high with a moulding round the edges. On one face is a cross ornamented with bosses, fret, and interlaced designs, the base of the shaft having a zoomorphic scroll. On the upper part of the reverse are horsemen hunting, below a procession with an ox being led, and at the base the crescent ornament and animals. 


   SLAB WITH SCULPTURED CROSS in Crieff, Perthshire. (Figured in Sculptured Stones of Scotland, plate Ixv., with notices at pp. 19 and 20.) 

   The Slab is a little more than 6 feet high by 2 feet in width. The ornamentation on the face and sides is partly fret and partly interlaced work, with trefoils springing from it and occupying enclosed spaces. Unfortunately the former authorities of the place appreciated its merits so little as to have set it up beside the town well. 


   MONUMENTAL SLAB, in the Island of Iona, erected to the memory of four Priors of Iona, whose names are still distinct on its margin. Inscribed: ‘Hic jacent quatuor priores de Y ex una natione V. Johannes Hugonius Patricius in decretis olim Bacalarius et alter Hugonius qui obiit anno domini millesimo quingentesimo.’ This ornate stone, 6 feet 6 inches in length, has a rope moulding enriched with rosettes around its edges. The centre is divided into four panels filled with interlaced foliaceous ornament. 

   (Figured in Stuart’s Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii. plate lxiv. noticed p. 32.) 


   MONUMENTAL SLAB, in St. Oran’s Chapel, Iona. 

   This slab probably commemorates a member of the Lochow family, known as ‘Paul na sporran’ – ‘Paul of the purse.’ It was taken to a churchyard in the Island of Mull to adorn the tomb of some humble unknown, but has now been restored to its proper place by His Grace the Duke of Argyll. 


   MONUMENTAL SLAB, at Keills, Knapdale, Argyllshire. It measures 6 feet 6 inches by 2 feet. There is a defaced inscription around the margin: in the upper part a belt of interlaced ornament, below which a sword occupies the middle, the blade dividing the lower part of the slab into two equal sections. On one side are shown a harp, a bird, casket, comb, shears, and conventional animals; the other side is occupied with animals and foliaceous scrolls. (Figured in Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii. plate lvii. (fig. 1), and noticed p. 80.) 


   CROSS, at Inveraray. (Figured in Stuart’s Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. plate xxxi. noticed p. 22.) It bears this inscription: ‘HEC EST CRUX : NOBILIUM VIRORUM : VIDELICET DONDCANI MEICOYLL ICHOMGHAN : PATRICI FILII : EIUS : ET MAELMORE : FILII PATRICI : QUI HANC CRUCEM FIERI FACIEBAT.’ The ornamentation on both faces is of the comparatively modern type, consisting of animal forms, foliaceous scrolls, and Gothic panels. The sculpturing in two of the panels has been erased, and a careful rubbing over one of them dimly brings out a representation of the Virgin and Child. The Cross now stands an ornament to the chief street of the town, and not in its original position. 

   MONUMENTAL SLAB, in the Churchyard of Innishail, one of the beautiful islands on Loch Awe, where there was an early monastic institution, and where are still remains of an ancient parish church. 

   The slab is oblong, tapering from top to bottom, the edges bevelled and surrounded by a border of quatrefoils or tooth ornament enclosing a plain roll. The surface is divided into three panels, the uppermost of which contains a partly illegible inscription. The centre panel contains a chalice, on one side of which is a nondescript animal, rampant, and on the other a circular disc. 

The lower panel has down its centre a band of interlaced ornament bordered on each side by a running foliaceous pattern of two wavy stems with tripoliate leaves recurved so as to fill the interspaces. (See Fig. 26.) 

   SHAFT OF. CROSS, in the Island of Tiree, which was formerly a dependency of Iona from which the Brotherhood derived their chief food supplies, the island being mild and fertile. This stone, now in the Churchyard of Soroby, was supposed to be a monumental slab, but on moving it from its earth-fast bed it was found that the long-buried side was covered with a scroll of gracefully sculptured leaves. The well-known obverse represents the Archangel Michael subduing the Dragon; and also, below, Anna, Prioress of Iona, in her robes, being laid hold of by a skeleton representing Death. It is figured in Stuart’s Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. plate liii., and described at pp. 27, 28. (See Fig. 27.) 

   Miss Maclagan, who has devoted many years to the study of these ancient monuments, and to the formation of an extensive collection of rubbings from them, has written, in regard to the small selection shown by her, as follows:- 

   ‘The object proposed to be obtained by exhibiting these Rubbings was to draw attention to the remains of Celtic Art in our country. These treasures, scattered over the country, are neglected, forgotten, and subject to the waste of time, and to still more swift destruction by the hand of man, yet are they in truth part of our national history written in stone. 

   ‘The Rubbings are simply impressions from the stones as they now exist, without any restoration. They form part of what is intended to be a complete collection of memorials of the sculptured stones of Scotland, and the number already finished is about 200.’ 


   THE ‘BACHULL MORE,’ the pastoral staff of St Moluag, an immediate follower of St Columba, who was a zealous worker in the introduction of the Christian Faith into Scotland in the commencement of the 7th century. A family named Livingstone, living in the Island of Lismore, which was the seat of the ancient bishopric of Argyll, were hereditary custodiers of the staff; and enjoyed their little freehold in virtue of the trust. Their lands, however, became the property of the Duke of Argyll, and the ancient symbol of Celtic tenure passed into the muniment chamber at Inveraray. It is, in its present defaced condition, a plain curved staff;  

34 inches in length; the surfaced presents indications of the rivets by which a metal; casing, probably highly enriched with ornament, had been originally attached to the wood, some fragments of copper plates still remaining. This staff when complete must have been different in form from the crosiers with the voluted heads which became the recognised types of later periods; and it probably was the same in appearance as the famous Quigrich of St Fillin now happily deposited in the National Museum in Edinburgh. The Bachull is noticed and figured in the Origines Parochiales Scotiæ, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 163. Also see the Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. vol. ii. p. 12. The charter under which it was latterly held, granted by the Earl of Argyll in 1544, is printed in the Reliq. Antiq. Scot. No. xxxv. p. 150. (See Fig. 28.) 

(101) Lent by the DUKE OF ARGYLL, K.O., E.T. 

  THE BUIDHEAN OR BELL OF ST. FILLAN, from the old Parish Church of Struan, Blair Athole. Exclusive of the handle it measures 11 inches in height, and across the mouth it is 7 inches by 5 ¾ inches. It is quadrangular, of sheet-iron, and had been originally thickly coated with bronze which is largely weathered off, and the iron corroded through. The bell came into the possession of Mr. Mclnroy of Lude in the early part of this century when the present church was building, a new bell being provided by him to replace it. A quadrangular bell of bronze, also dedicated to St. Fillan, was preserved in the neighbouring parish of Killin till the early part of the present century, when it was stolen by an English antiquary. It was in the parish of Killin also that the Quigrich or Crosier of St. Fillan was preserved. According to local tradition a native of a neighbouring parish, ‘having stolen the Buidhean, he sat down to rest in the course of his flight on the top of a neighbouring hill, and laid the bell on a stone beside him while he drew breath. On attempting to resume his journey, however, he found it immovable, and it was not till the affrighted and penitent thief turned his face towards Struan with the resolution of restoring the abstracted treasure, that it became once more portable, and was easily borne back to its favourite shrine.’ See Wilson’s Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 473. Figured in Anderson’s Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. i. p. 183. (See Fig. 29). 

(103) Lent by WILLIAM MCINROY. 

   LEADEN BULLA of Pope Clement II., A.D. 1047, found in St. Cuthbert’s Burying-ground, Kirkcudbright. 


   ONE HALF OF AN IVORY DIPTYCH, formerly in the Cathedral of Elgin, and preserved in the family of Gordon of Park, Banffshire, since the Reformation. Date about 1320. 

   Bequeathed by the last of the family in the male line to its present possessor. 

(102) Lent by C. E. DALRYMPLE. 

   STONE FIGURE OF A BISHOP, found in foundation of Rutherglen Church. The ancient Church of Rutherglen, of which the spire still remains, dates from the 12th century. 

(100) Lent by JOHN DENHOLM. 

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