It seems that very little is known about this site, long since gone when quarrying operations did what quarrying operations do. The site was recorded by the Ordnance Survey lads on their 1908 map of the region, on which they noted: “Stone coffin containing human remains found AD 1905.” The Royal Commission boys visited the site in April 1962 and reported that “nothing now survives.” They listed it in their inventory as a prehistoric cist, or small stone-lined burial chest. Such remains tend to be either neolithic or Bronze Age in nature.
Royal Commission Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Peeblesshire – volume 1, HMSO: Edinburgh 1967.
This supposedly 10-12th century carving — found in the early 1940s and handed to the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh by Mr A. Sanderson — took my interest by virtue of the distinct swastika design carved on the face of the stone.* The fact that it’s etched onto what’s thought to be the remains of an old christian cross shouldn’t be too surprising: we find it on numerous other old stone crosses, church bells and other religious remains.
This example was only carved on one side of the stone, which measures some 18-inches high and just 9 inches across. The top of the stone has a design typical of many early crosses from between the 9th to 14th century; whilst the curvaceous line on the lower-right also typifies imagery found on many crosses from this period — some of which appear to be based on cup-and-ring imagery. However, no such cup-and-rings seem to have been in evidence where this cross-remain was found. Very little else is known about its history.
Although it aint quite as old as Ilkley’s Swastika Stone, this is still a fascinating carved stone indeed!
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Peeblesshire – volume 1, HMSO: Edinburgh 1967.
Stevenson, Robert B.K., ‘The Inchyra Stone and some other Unpublished Early Christian Monuments’, in PSAS 92, 1961.
* To those who don’t know, the swastika symbol has been used by people from around 20,000 BC onwards and has only very recently gained a bad press. It’s a symbol that needs to be reclaimed, through education, and put back into its proper mythic place where it belongs – away from any Nazi dip-shits, whose retarded actions pale into insignificance when it comes to the primal archaic nature of this old form.