Scheduled Monument

Lybster, Church of Scotland, cross incised stoneSM613

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone
Local Authority
ND 24795 36093
324795, 936093


The monument consists of a rough boulder inscribed with an equal armed cross formed by a double border. The boulder is roughly 1m long and 0.4m wide by 0.4m high. It is protected from the worst of the elements by a flagstone shelter.

The stone may have come from the Well of the Martyrs which was disturbed during the construction of Lybster harbour in the 1840s.

Since the stone is not in its original location, the area to be scheduled includes only the stone itself at the location marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has a very well preserved early-Christian carving on it. It is one of a very small number of obvious links to the early medieval history of Caithness. Although not in its original location the stone indicates early Christian occupation of the area, perhaps marking the position of a holy well.



RCAHMS records the monument as ND 23 NW 2.


Gourlay, R. (1993) 'Before the Vikings; Pre-Norse Caithness' in 'The Viking Age' ed. Batey, C. E., Jesch, J. & Morris, C. D., Edinburgh University Press.

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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. 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: 29/02/2020 13:28