Cross slab

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Found at Kilbar, Barra, Outer Hebrides

Postcard of Cross slab.
© National Museums Scotland

Cross slab

This cross slab was recognised in 1865 in the disused burial ground of the ruined church of Kilbar on Barra in the Outer Hebrides. It was carved with an inscription in Scandinavian runes sometime between 900 and 1100. This picture shows the back.

The back has a runic inscription, set out in two lines reading vertically downwards. The inscription reads: 'This cross was raised in memory of Thorgerth, daughter of Steinar'.

In the early Historic period three alphabets were current: Latin, brought by the Christian church; ogham, originally developed by the Irish and used by both Scots and Picts; and runes brought by the Scandinavians. Most people, however, were illiterate.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-207-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 102
Date: 10th to early 11th century
Between 900 and 1100
Material: Stone; sculptured Celtic cross and inscription in runes
Dimensions: 1500 mm H x 90 mm L x 390 mm W
Who: Steinar
Where: Scotland, Inverness-shire, Barra, Kilbar
Description: Nordic cross slab with a runic inscription on the reverse, reading 'This cross was raised in memory of Thorgerth, daughter of Steinar', from Kilbar, Barra, 10th - early 11th century
  • Close-Brooks, J. & Stevenson, R.B.K. Dark Age Sculpture. Edinburgh: HMSO, 1982 
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