National Museum of Scotland, Mid Calder cross head (see also Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder)

Feature Sets (2)


The block of stone, carved with circle and interlace on both main faces, is now part of the National Museum of Scotland Collection. According to the 1892 Museum inventory description, it came from the churchyard at Mid Calder and was given to the museum in 1883. Its inventory number is IB 129.


For a history of the church, see: Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder.


Loose Sculpture

Cross head

The weathered sandstone block is carved on both faces with simple raised bands, one forming a circle, the other interlacing to form a cross shape. On one face, nail-head like nobs are carved on the arms of the cross, but on the opposite face this does not occur. Otherwise the two sides are carved the same, with overlapping loops of the interlace extending beyond the circle, its tips carved proud of it. The sides of the stone are undecorated, but one side has been damaged. At the bottom of the stone is a surviving section of attached stone which suggests that the stone has been cut back on this side.


Depth 0.13 m
Height (from wooden frame) 0.35 m
Width 0.34 m


The cross head in the museum is almost certainly contemporary with that set into the vestry wall of the church at Mid Calder. For a discussion of the dating, see: Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder.


  • Catalogue of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Edinburgh 1892, 268, Inv. no. IB 129.

  • A. Reid, ‘Notes on the Churchyards of Currie, Kirknewton, and the Calders’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 40 (1906), 239.


Site Location
National Museum of Scotland, Mid Calder cross head (see also Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder)
National Grid Reference
NT 257 732 
pre-1975 traditional (Scotland): Midlothian
now: City of Edinburgh
Type of building/monument
Report authors
James King 
Visit Date
7 Feb 2012