N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness Field Club Bulletin
A survey by Tim Blackie and Colin Macaulay

Reference Number: SSC/11

Name: Reay 1

Description: Class 3 (?) monument

Present Location: Reay Graveyard

NC 9691 6481

Original Location: as above

Other Documentation: BEAT p23
  ECMS iii p36
  IMCC No340
Dimensions: Length 6 feet 4 inches
  Breadth up to 3 feet 4 inches
  Width 4 inches


Notes: Until about the turn of this century, this stone rested horizontally over an eighteenth-century grave in the middle of Reay's old burial ground.  It was then removed to be set into the west wall of the remains of the old church, where it remains.  The slab of grey sandstone is sculpted in relief on one side only, but it seems extremely likely that the other side originally bore more relief work, possibly even Pictish symbols, to judge by other stones of this type.  Possibly the sculpture on the reverse was removed when the stone was re-used as a modern gravestone.  Until a few years ago, the top arm of the cross bore the inscription 'Robert McKay 17-', but this has now been chiselled off by persons unknown. A fine cross with short lateral arms and rounded hollows in the angles is featured, with key pattern work in the lateral arms and base.  The shaft of the cross bears an elaborate knotwork panel reminiscent of the construction techniques of the illuminated manuscripts which have been dated to the later 8th and early 9th centuries AD.