Portable altar

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from Coldingham Priory, Berwickshire

Postcard of Portable altar.
© National Museums Scotland

Portable altar

This portable sandstone altar is from Coldingham Priory in Berwickshire. It dates from the 13th century.

The rectangular altar has five consecration crosses carved in its top surface.

Such altars may have been used for carrying from place to place, for use at masses where there was no fixed altar, or else set in timber-topped altars, perhaps sealing consecrated relics.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-000-365-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.KG 78
Date: 12th - 14th century
13th century
Material: Sandstone
Dimensions: 279 x 254 x 38 mm
What: Altar, portable
Subject: Stone sculptures, carvings (NMAS Classification)
Where: Scotland, Berwickshire, Coldingham Priory
Description: Portable altar of sandstone with five incised crosses in circles, from Coldingham Priory, Berwickshire, 12th - 14th century
  • Caldwell, D. H. (ed). Angels, Nobles and Unicorns: Art and Patronage in Medieval Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1982 
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