|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1630 Gordon, R.|
|History:||Forsyth/1996, 299: `This large, ogham-inscribed cross-slab was transferred to Dunrobin Castle Museum in 1868 (Acc. No. 15/15A) from the parish churchyard of nearby Golspie in the county of Sutherland. The cross was certainly in Golspie churchyard in 1856 when it was visited by Stuart, and may have been there as early as 1780. Close-Brooks suggests that Sir Robert Gordon's description of `as ton curiously carved' standing in `Golspie Kirktoun' in 1630 may be the earliest reference.' Forsyth goes on to discuss the uncertain provenance of the stone before this date.|
|Geology:||Forsyth/1996, 301: `Purple (Old Red) sandstone'.|
|Dimensions:||1.83 x 0.82 x 0.17 (Forsyth/1996)|
Forsyth/1996, 299: `transferred to Dunrobin Castle Museum in 1868'.
Forsyth/1996, 301: `A large Class II Pictish cross-slab sculptured partly in relief, partly incised'.
|Condition:||complete , some|
Forsyth/1996, 301; `Cross defaced by modern inscription and badly weathered. Reverse in generally very good condition. A small portion of the carved surface has laminated off around the beast symbol. The ogham is clear except for two short sections where the surface is very worn'.
|Crosses:||1: latin; outline; ind; ind; circular; none; ind; ind; decorated|
|Decorations:||animal; figural; geometric ribbon interlace|
Allen/Anderson/1903, 48--50: `sculptured partly in relief and partly with incised lines on four faces ...
Front. -- In the centre of the slab is a cross with circular hollows in the angles between the arms (shape 101A). The ornament on the cross is divided into five separate panels -- (1) in the circle in the centre of the cross, double beaded interlaced work (No. 785), symmetrically arranged in each of the four quadrants; (2) on the top arm, the fish-like tails of a pair of serpentine creatures with their bodies interlaced, the upper part being defaced by the cutting of the name GORDON of the modern inscription; (3) on the left arm, interlaced work almost entirely defaced; (4) on the right-hand arm, interlaced work (No. 662) partially defaced; (5) on the shaft double-beaded interlaced-work (No. 690) composed of a small piece of broken plait, arranged in two rows and repeated six times in each row, the pieces of plait in one row being the symmetrical opposite of those in the other with regard to a centre.
The ornament on the background of the cross is divided into nine panels -- (1) on the left side of top arm of cross, double-beaded interlaced-work (No. 607) partially defaced; (2) on right of top arm, double-beaded interlaced work (No. 607) partially defaced; (3) on the left of shaft at top, ornament entirely defaced; (4) on left of shaft in middle, ornament entirely defaced; (5) on left of shaft at bottom, spiral-work almost entirely obliterated; (6) on right of shaft at top, a serpentine creature forming double-beaded interlaced-work (No. 648) partially defaced; (7) on right of shaft in middle, a square key-pattern set diagonally (No. 970A) partially defaced; (8) on right of shaft at bottom spiral-work (No. 1084) partially defaced; (9) below bottom of shaft of cross, key-pattern No. 969 combined with key pattern No. 974, the whole much defaced. ...
Back.-- At the top of the rectangular symbol; below this the elephant symbol; lower down on the left a man holding an axe in his right hand and a knife in his left; opposite the man, on the right, a beast with its tail curled over its back, and underneath it the fish, flower, and crescent with V-shaped rod symbols; at the bottom of the slab the double-disc symbol without the Z-shaped rod, and a pair of serpentine creatures rwisted together. The symbols are ornamented with patterns composed of spirals and straight lines. The V-shaped rod of the crescent has a horizontal line joining the two upper ends, and forming a triangle. The body of one of the serpents is ornamented with a zig-zag line, and the other with a straight line down the middle.
Right and Left sides.-- A spiral border pattern (No. 1045) composed of one row of double spirals connected by S-shaped curves.
Right and Top Angles of Back.-- On a roll moulding an ogham inscription commencing at the bottom and reading upwards along the vertical edge and continuing along the top edge.'
Forsyth/1996, 301: `The rectangular slab is carved on all four sides'.
Front: `an interlace cross surrounded by nine panels of geometric ornament'.
Reverse: `on the reverse of the Golspie slab are no fewer than eight Pictish symbols...carefully arranged in pairs...The top two, the `rectangle' and the `Pictish beast', are much larger than the others. Arranged vertically as is normal, they occupy the whole width of the slab...The left hand side of the middle portion is completely taken up with a single male figure in profile. He is bearded, has a pointed nose, wears his hair long, and is dressed in a short (above-the-knee) tunic belted at the waist...The area opposite is taken up with a quadruped with extravagantly curled tail above a fish (both facing the man), above a pair of symbols set side-by-side -- a flower and a crescent and a V-rod...At the bottom of this face is a large `double-disc' above a pair of intertwined snakes'.
Sides: 'The two narrow sides of the slab are carved with a spiral border pattern (No. 1045)'.
|Allen, R. (1903):||ALLHHALLORREDDM[A]QQNUUVVH ||| RR[E!][I^A][R^N][F^N]|
ALLHHALLORREDD M[A]QQ NUUVVHRR[E!][I^A][R^N][F^N]
Allen/Anderson/1903 49 reading only
|Forsyth, K.S. (1996):||ALLHALLORREDDM[A^E]QQN[I^IA^UU]V[H^A][RR^NI][C^E][-][RR^QQ]|
ALL HALLORREDD M[E]QQ N[IA] V[ARRCERR]
The monument of Alored (PN) son of the nephew of Fercar (PN)
ALL HALLORREDD M[E]QQ N[IA]V[ARRCERR]
The monument of Alored (PN) son of NiaFercar (PN).
ALL HALLORREDD M[E]QQN[IA] V[ARRCERR]
The monument of Alored (PN), MacNia(PN), and Fercar (PN).
ALL HALLORREDD M[E]QQN[IA] V[ARRCERR]
The monument of Alored (PN): MacNia (PN) and Fercar (PN).
Forsyth/1996 307--319 substantial discussion
|Position:||ind ; arris ; inc ; inc|
Forsyth/1996, 301: `The ogham occupies a roll-moulding on the right-hand edge of the reverse face'.
|Ling. Notes:||Forsyth/1996, 317: `If the formula is X MAQQ Y, then we may have an Irish text with one Brittonic and one Goidelic name ... Though nía does appear as a formula word in one Irish ogham, the formula `son of the nephew of' is not otherwise attested. Perhaps more likely is that Nia and Fercar are part of an otherwise unattested compound personal name Nia-Fercar'. Forsyth does then go on to suggest that the inscription might consist of three personal names preceeded by ALL for Irish ail `rock', in which case the language of the text is still Goidelic.|
|Palaeography:||See Forsyth/1996, 309--312.|
Forsyth/1996, 307: `Padel is quite right that the text 'can be read with some surety''.