This evening, I am posting a video clip taken at Govan Old Parish Church which covers some of the 31 monuments located there, most of which are intact and highly decorated. Key facts:

  • These stones represent some of Scotland’s most important early medieval sculptures.
  • Age of the stones is about 1000 years ( 9th-11th centuries AD.)
  • All the stones emanate from the Govan Church site which suggests it was originally a major ceremonial and administrative centre for the kings of Strathclyde, a pre-unified Scotland fiefdom.
  • The carvings show Viking influences and date from a time when the Norsemen were converted to Christianity. Some of the stones bear both pagan and Christian markings.
  • The Govan location is important because here was a ford providing a waterway from the Atlantic and Irish Sea into central southern Scotland. The carvings suggest strong links with Pictland to the north and Cumbria to the south.
  • The piece de resistance is the ornamental coffin ( see single image above) carved from a single block of sandstone and decorated with knotwork panels and hunting motifs. It may have been intended as a reliquary for the bones and relics of St. Constantine who was martyred by pagans.
  • This site is open to the public, but subject to restricted hours, especially in winter. Contact me if you wish to arrange a private tour.

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