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Alexander MacMillan worked for Alexander MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, as the keeper of Castle Sween. This free-standing cross was erected nearby in the late 1400s as a memorial to the castle custodian. It originally stood in the churchyard of Kilmory Knap Chapel and is now on display inside.

The Crucifixion of Christ is carved on the cross head on the front of the stone. He is flanked by St John and the Virgin Mary, both of whom hold books. Above are interlaced plant stems, which join with an animal’s tail on the left arm and an ornate knot on the right. Plant stems also adorn the upper part of the shaft, while interlace work surrounds the sword carved lower down.

A hunting scene is shown on the back of cross shaft. Three hounds attack a stag, watched by a bearded hunter, with axe, who wears what looks like a kilt. He stands upon a panel that bears four lines of Lombardic text, which translates as: ‘This is the cross of Alexander MacMillan’. At the centre of the cross head, a small leaping animal bites its tail. Twisted stems, without foliage, surround it.

This brilliantly preserved cross stood in its original site at the north west of the churchyard until 1981. The socket stone, in which it stood, is still there today.

Details

Date Made
Late 15th century
Dimensions
h 2810mm (h 9' 2 5/8")
Time Period
Medieval
Property Information
Kilmory Chapel
Object Number
KLM038
Access Status
Display

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