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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Rare Anglo-Saxon / Celtic Early Christian Cross Marked Stone Slab"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Incised with an equal armed cross superimposed on a broad ring
The recess at the centre probably contained glass or crystal fragments
7th – 8th Century AD
Size: 81cm high, 32cm wide, 14cm deep – 32 ins high, 12½ ins wide, 5½ ins deep
Found at Little Eaton in Derbyshire during the construction of a road in the early 20th century. Probably used as building stone or rubble in the 19th century
See: Finch & Co catalogue no. 3, item no. 24, for a 10th – 11th century Anglo-Danish sandstone pillar slab from Derbyshire decorated with a Saint
cf: C. Thomas; ‘The Early Christian Archaeology of North Britain’ Oxford 1971, pg. 124-5, for a range of cross slab types
Similar examples exist at several sites across Britain and Scotland. A Pictish cross slab of very similar form is preserved at Banchory Ternan, Aberdeenshire
Sometimes referred to as a prayer-cross these symbol incised stone slabs were a basic aid for instruction and devotion. They could also afford protection at the entrance of a building and when stood erect the stone slab marked the ground upon which it stood as sacred, whether on a grave or communal funerary ground or in an enclosed devotional space. The art of the cross marked stone slab in Britain is part of a common cultural package brought by Christianity to these shores and the displaying of these early symbolic stones was a token of the acceptance by the Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Picts of the Christian faith.