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from Whithorn, Wigtownshire

Postcard of Crosier.
© National Museums Scotland


A crosier is a bishop's or abbot's crook. This example was found in a grave excavated at the 12th-century Premonstratensian church at Whithorn in Wigtownshire. Made in England or France, it probably belonged to a 14th-century bishop of the See of Whithorn.

The crosier head is formed by a tube of copper and has a metal flower-like cluster fixed at the centre with a peg. On the stem are representations of figures, animals and vegetable motifs rendered within a framework of raised gilded metal.

One of the human figures of the crosier may be St Ninian (d. 432), the original founder of the church at Whithorn known as Candida Casa. This church was replaced in the 12th century by the Premonstratensian church where the crosier was found.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-047-883-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1992.1833
Date: 1175 - 1200
Between 1175 and 1200
Material: Gilded metal framework; champleve enamelling
Dimensions: 200 mm H x 90 mm W x 40 mm D
Where: England ? / FRANCE ?
Description: Whithorn Crosier with stem decorated in champleve enamelling and crosier head with floral cluster held in centre of crook with pin, from excavations at Whithorn Priory, English or French, 1175 - 1200
  • Caldwell, D.H. (ed). Angels Nobles and Unicorns: Art and Patronage in Medieval Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1982 
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