Camus's Cross

Ordnance Survey Map Reference NO519379

The east face of the cross

Closer look at upper east face

The west face of the cross

Foliage carved on south edge

This stone lies in private grounds near Panmure House, Craigton. From the A92 running west from Dundee to Arbroath, take the north turning at Upper Victoria (marked for Moikie Country Park) and follow the road straight up until a wood is seen to your left (west). There is a gate-house to the east side of the road, and a track runs up through the trees - the cross may be seen about 300m up this track. It is private ground, and permission should be sought before entering. I couldn't find anyone to ask...

The west face (front) is badly weathered but the east face survives quite well. Elizabeth Sutherland describes the stone thus: "Front: three panels as follows; (1) crucifixion with sponge- and spear-bearers on either side of the arms; (2) Sagittarius and (3) scrolls of foliage in shaft. Back: three panels containing (1) Christ in the act of benediction with his right hand and a book in his left hand. A seraph kneels in the left arm and an archangel in the right; (2) and (3) the four haloed Evangelists holding their Gospel books. Edges: carved in patterns of interlaced foliage. Comment: this unusual stone, one of the few to portray the Crucifixion, should be conserved and placed in a church visible to all and safe from further weathering."

She's probably right about the last bit, but Sagittarius??? I didn't think the Picts or Celts were that big on astrology... Local tradition says that this stone marks the last resting place of Count Camus, a Danish raider of the 8th or 9th century. The raiders came ashore down at Barry, on the coast, and proceeded to raid and plunder, as was their wont. The locals, unsurprisingly, took umbrage and attacked them, mortally wounding the Danish leader. His men withdrew up the hill with the luckless Viking count, and he expired and was buried where the cross now stands. Probably romantic tosh, although there are records of a local battle with the Danes at Barry round about this period. I'll leave it to you to make up your minds - it's a bonny stone anyway, whatever its provenance.

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courtesy of StreetMap

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