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Hairdwillagh Cross Slab

Period: Early Medieval

NGR Easting: 240520

NGR Northing: 483950

Description: This large memorial was found in the 1800s at the ruined upland farm of Ballaleaney (PRN ) overlooking Glen Roy, where it had been re-used as a lintel over a doorway. It was broken in two but has been restored to show its original form.

The monument takes the form of a wheel-headed slab, on which has been carved a ‘Celtic’ cross. The lower arm of the cross extends to form a narrow shaft, which is decorated at the top with a spoon-shaped object surrounded by small raised pellets.

The cross and ring are both edged with a bead-moulding, and the edge of the slab is similarly decorated with a double moulding so as to frame the cross. The inner of the mouldings surrounding the slab and the moulding which forms the edge of the cross-shaft combine to form two spirals or ‘volutes’ which decorate a pedestal on which the cross stands. The spirals are separated by two groups of three raised pellets.

The most prominent decoration on the whole slab is the spoon-like symbol at the top of the cross-shaft, which must represent the ladle used in the Eucharist. Close study of the panels to either side of the shaft suggests that there may also have been other more decorative carving, only the faintest vestiges of which may be present.

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Site & Monument Type: cross

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: Manx Cross 71

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