Sculptured stone

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from the island of Flotta, Orkney

Postcard of Sculptured stone.
© National Museums Scotland

Sculptured stone

This sandstone slab, probably the front of an altar or tomb, was found on the island of Flotta in Orkney on the site of a ruin supposed to be an ancient church. It was carved between 700 and 800.

The slab is decorated with an armpit cross at its centre, the arms and centre filled with interlace. On the back are two vertical slots for the attachment of the side panels.

The best evidence for the spread of Christianity in Scotland consists of carved stones, most of them monumental crosses but occasionally shrines or tombs. The decoration on many of these stones clearly relates to that used on manuscripts and metalwork.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-460-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 48
Date: Between 700 and 800
Material: Sandstone; cross of interlaced work in centre
Dimensions: 930 mm H x 100 mm L x 1750 mm W
What: Slab / altar front
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Walls and Flotta, Flotta
Description: Sandstone slab, probably the front of an altar tomb, with a cross of interlaced work in centre, from Flotta
  • Allen, J. R. & Anderson, J. The early Christian monuments of Scotland. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1903, vol. 2, p 23. 
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