Scheduled Monument

Inveraray Castle, crossSM253

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing)
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
NN 09658 9200
209658, 709200


The monument consists of a late-medieval disc-headed cross with a socket stone, brought to Inveraray during the late 19th Century, and re-erected as a garden ornament close to the SE front of the Castle.

The cross-shaft is incomplete, but the head and the greater part of the shaft survive, only the foot of the shaft being reconstructed. At present the cross stands to a height of 2.2m above the base. Of this the original fragments measure 1.64m. The span of the arms was 0.47m before the breaking-off of the left-hand arm, which is now missing. The front of the disc shows Christ crucified flanked by St Mary and St John, within a border of trefoiled leaves. The upper arm bears a figure of St Michael slaying the dragon and the side arms are blank. The back of the disc bears a hunting scene within a similar border and, in the upper arm, a bishop or abbot carrying a crozier and in the act of blessing. The shaft is carved both front and back with interlaced foliage, springing (on the back) from an armed mounted figure at its foot. Stylistically, the cross-shaft closely resembles MacLean's Cross in Iona and MacMillan's Cross at Kilmory Knap.

The socket stone measures 0.84m square by 0.15m in height, and is covered in foliage ornament. It bears a dedicatory inscription to Abbot Finguine, probably the abbot of Iona of that name who ruled c1357-c1408. The socket appears to be too large for the shaft, and the suggested dating for the shaft of the second half of the 15th Century implies that the two were not always associated.

Cross-shaft and -base were brought from the site of the important medieval church at Kirkapoll on Tiree during the late 19th Century.

The area to be scheduled measures 1m by 1m, centred on the cross and aligned with its base, to include only the cross and its base, as indicated in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved late-medieval cross, the base of which is considered to be the most elaborate and best-preserved of its type in the W Highlands and the shaft of which is stylistically closely related to two crosses in the guardianship of Scottish Ministers. Despite the fact that it has been removed from its original position, it has potential to contribute to our understanding of medieval ecclesiastical organisation in Scotland and the organisation and development of the West Highland school of sculpture.



RCAHMS 'Argyll', Vol. 3, 156.

RCAHMS 'Argyll', Vol. 7, 80.

Steer, K. A. and Bannerman, J. W. M, (1977) 'Late Medieval Monument Sculpture in the West Highlands' especially p 100-102.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/10/2021 18:18