2. Carved Cross,
Kirkcolm
Map Ref: NX 027 687

Kirkcolm is 8 km north of Stranraer on the west shore of Loch Ryan. In the village take the left turn to the church. The cross stands in the churchyard.

Crown ©, courtesy of Historic Scotland

This stone, known as the Kilmorie Cross, was carved during the 10th century. It originally stood close to St Mary's Chapel some 4 km south of Kirkcolm but was moved to the grounds of Corsewall House in the last century. The cross was re-erected in the churchyard in 1989. The design on the cross combines Christian and pagan Scandinavian images and is unique in Dumfries and Galloway.

One face has an elaborately carved cross above a design of intertwined animal bodies. The snake-like heads of some of the animals can still be seen. On the other side is a rough carving of the crucifixion. Below it is a blacksmith holding hammer and tongs with two eagles at his side. Is the smith meant to be the Scandinavian god Thor and does the carving represent the triumph of Christianity over pagan religion?

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