Hogback grave marker at Luss Church burial ground, Scotland.

This evening, I am reporting on an ancient grave marker which can be seen in the burial ground associated with Luss Parish Church on the banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland.

This particular monument is commonly known as a ‘hogback’ due to its shape, a description which was invented in Victorian times. However, the monument itself probably dates from the 10th century and represents a personal memorial designed to lie along the grave at ground level. In common with others of its type which are found in Scotland and England:

  • The monument consists of a solid block of stone carved into a long, hump-backed shape.
  • Features rows of ‘roof tiles’ on top perhaps representing wooden roof shingles.
  • Has elaborate carvings on the sides.

It appears that the ‘hogback’ style originated in Anglo-Scandinavian Yorkshire ( N.E. England) during the 10th century with the fashion spreading N.W. into Cumbria ( N.W. England), Strathclyde ( S.W. Scotland) and then further into what is now Scotland.

The geographical distribution of hogbacks in Scotland is linked to marine trading along inland waterways and sea-routes as opposed to actual Scandinavian (Viking) settlement.

This particular monument at Luss is smaller than its contemporaries found elsewhere in England and Scotland.

The hogback at Luss confirms the antiquity of this Christian site which can be traced backĀ 1500 years to the 6th century and the time of Irish missionary Kessog ( c AD 460-520).

Hogback grave marker at Luss Church burial ground.

Luss Parish Church from Loch Lomond, Scotland.

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