OFF THE BEATEN PATH
The Kildalton Cross
A rarely visited spot in Scotland is Islay (pronounced suspiciously like “I’ll ahh”). Among the interesting places on Islay is Finlaggan, the earliest seat of the MacDonalds, which has been excavated by Dr. David Caldwell. Dr. Caldwell is known to our readers for his many fine articles he has written for the Scotia News. He has recently retired as a keeper from the National Museums of Scotland. Perhaps we will be able to convince him to do an article about that site soon.
This issue of Scotia News looks at the Kildalton Cross which can be found in the former parish church of Kildalton on the island (which is reached by a very pleasant ferry ride). The cross and the nearby roofless church are both under the care of Historic Scotland.
The cross is a Celtic one, that is, a circle surrounds the place where the upright and cross beam intersect. The Kildalton Cross was likely made in the second half of the 8th century by a carver from Iona. Carved from a single stone it is considered the finest Celtic cross left in Scotland