Friday, April 4, 2014

Kilnave Church and Cross - Islay

I've always thought that the 5th century cross at Kilnave (Cill Naoimh) is beautiful. Its two worn arms, one pointing skyward, the other pointing down, give it an almost human look.

The cross is not mounted on its original pedestal, but I wonder if part of the original base still exists. For at the doorway of the adjacent chapel lies a stone slab with a circular depression that visitors have left coins in (see third photo below). It could be that this stone was part of the original cross base. I say that because the depression is similar to one on the base of the Kilchomain Cross, which holds a prayer stone that is turned deiseil (sunwise/clockwise) to insure health and well being; or that your child will be male. For a complete description of the Kilnave cross see this link.

There was a monastery at Kilnave, and the monks had a remote hermitage, a cluster of beehive cells, four miles due west on the other side of the peninsula. For photos, and a description of a walk to the hermitage, see the posts for April 17th to April 20th of 2013.

Stone slab with circular depression at the chapel doorway

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