Cross slab

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from Monifieth, Angus

Postcard of Cross slab.
© National Museums Scotland

Cross slab

This sandstone cross slab is one of several found in the church at Monifieth in Angus. It was probably carved in the 9th century. It shows a fusion of native and Christian elements, with both secular and religious motifs depicted.

This side has three panels framed by bird-headed monsters. At the top is a beast and an animal head. In the lower left appears to be a woman wearing a penannular brooch. The lower right panel has a Pictish symbol, the crescent and V-rod, set on its side.

Interpreting the scenes on Pictish carvings can be difficult. Is this a religious scene, or a secular scene with symbols of power? The continuing use of the Pictish symbol on a Christian stone has many other parallels, but its symbolism is also unknown.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-446-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IB 27
Date: Between 800 and 900
Material: Sandstone, grey; cross on one side, figures and symbols on other
Dimensions: 840 mm H x 100 mm L x 310 mm W (Height includes plinth)
What: Slab
Where: Scotland, Angus, Monifieth
Description: Slab of grey sandstone with a cross on one side and figures and symbols on the other, from Monifieth
  • Allen, J. R. & Anderson, J. The early Christian monuments of Scotland. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1903, vol. 2, pp 229-30. 
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