Cross slab

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from Reay, Caithness

Postcard of Cross slab.
© National Museums Scotland

Cross slab

This cross slab was found at the old parish church at Reay in Caithness, reused in the south wall of the church. All four sides of the monolith were carved sometime between 800 and 1000.

This picture shows one side of the monolith. It is decorated with a scene carved in relief. At the top is a boss, while below are a hound, cow, bull and horse. The stone is broken off at the bottom.

Interpreting the scenes on Pictish carvings can be difficult. On one side of this stone is a cross, but the symbolism behind the use of animals on this side is obscure. Perhaps they hark back to pre-Christian symbols, or are part of a story.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-237-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 267
Date: Between 800 and 1000
Material: Sandstone, reddish; sculptured in flat relief; lowest part missing
Dimensions: 1220 mm H x 240 mm L x 270 mm W
What: Cross shaft
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Reay Parish Church
Description: Cross shaft of reddish sandstone sculptured in flat relief, found in 1947 built into the south wall of Reay Parish Church, Caithness
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