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Netherton Cross, Hamilton, Scotland

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today, my theme is an early medieval cross at Hamilton. Before commenting on the cross will review today's activities:

Glasgow Weather: Light, but persistent snowfall most of the day with temperature at zero centigrade. Not ideal conditions for travelling around and taking photographs.

Glasgow Ancestry: Posted to my separate blog information on one John Houldsworth, a member of Glasgow's 19th century elite who came from very modest orgins in northern England to become a wealthy businessman and Provost (Mayor) of Anderston (now part of Glasgow). An amazing journey considering the rigid class system at the time.

Scotland Tours: Working on four itineraries including two Speyside Whisky Tours.

Travels and Photographs: Notwithstanding the weather (or because of it) I decided to go off to the town of Hamilton to view the 10th/11th century Nertherton Cross located at the Old Parish Church of Hamilton which itself is a magnificent building. I find these old crosses fascinating. There are examples at Dunning (Perthshire), Paisley Abbey (Barochan Cross) Barrhead (Arthurlie Cross) and of course at Govan. In fact the Netherton Cross is deemed to be from the 'Govan School'. Although badly weathered the key features of the cross are:
  • The front features human and animal features, a spiral boss between two panels of geometric carving and an area of interlace.
  • The rear shows a squatting human and a boss with with two bands radiating from it.
  • Various hollows on the cross, particularly below the arms, may be the result of knife (sword?) sharpening activity.
  • The sides feature human and animal figures, interlace and chevrons.
The carvings and images may well have represented symbols, statements or even propaganda which were of significance to the people of the day who were mostly illiterate.

It would be nice to see this stone removed indoors or protected in some way. Otherwise, the sandstone will continue to erode and the carvings lost to future generations.


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posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:21 PM 

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