Aberlady cross, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

In 1863, among the materials with which a wall was built near the Aberlady church was discovered the vertical stem of a medieval high cross that had to be originally placed in the church or in the nearby cemetery on the southern shore of Firth of Forth County of East Lothian, Scotland. The preserved cross-section, carved in local sandstone, is high in cm. 61. The find is important in that it is the most northern part of Northumbria’s high-quality sculptures that reflect the motifs and style of the hybrid Saxon codes of the 7th and 8th centuries. The two main faces of the stem are divided into panels: the side A is the most worn, but at the base there is the deeply engraved figure of an angel with a book in his hand and with his head slightly tilted forward; In the upper pane are represented by two long neck animals and slender bodies, with tapered and thin legs crossing the two figures together in a single composition. The side C has a clearly engraved key in the lower box; In the upper one instead of composition of four birds with woven hollows and with knot and legged laces. The two smaller sides B and D contain elegant vegetable volutes intertwined by pairs of pointed leaves. Birds and interwoven animals have often been compared to code illustrations such as the Codex Lindisfarnensis in which bird representations show a strong resemblance to those of the Aberlady Cross, even in the double profile of bodies and wings; In the same manuscript are often also square-shaped geometric patterns, very common in other codes and in sculpture. Not all decorative motifs in Lindisfarnensis are identical to those of the cross. The important monastic and Episcopal center of Lindisfarne is only a kilometer away. 60 to South of Aberlady, which was, however, closer to Abercorn, for a short time Episcopal office, and might have been affected by other influences as well.

Abercorn, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.


The eyes of all creatures, drilled with the drill, are out of touch with the characteristics of Iber-Saxon art; in none of the codes or sculptures of Lindisfarne appear the vegetable volutes, which have been compared to those of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem  and that it is possible to approach also those of sculpture of the sec. 8th in Hexham, Northumberland or Anglo-Saxon Codes in Southern England.

Jerusalem, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.


The size of the angel, smaller than those of the decoration with animals and birds, suggest for the Cross of Aberlady a dating between the second century AD. 8th and 9th;

Angel, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.


Angels holding the Book of Life are generally represented with a kneeling character on their feet: the china head of the angel of this cross might suggest that the original composition was the same as that of the Crosses of Otley or Dewsbury Yorkshire . It is possible to say that the Aberlady’s Cross reflects widely spread styles in Anglo-Saxon England at the end of the 8th century.

Aberlady cross, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.



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Aberlady cross, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Aberlady cross