Ruthwell Cross


Ruthwell Cross © David Gill

The Ruthwell Cross now stands in a specially constructed apse (1887) in Ruthwell Parish Church (although it is in the care of Historic Scotland). It is some 5.7 m in height, and dates to the early 8th century.

The inscribed text includes sections of The Dream of the Rood linked to Caedmon.


Ruthwell Cross © David Gill


Ruthwell Cross © David Gill


Ruthwell Cross © David Gill


Ruthwell Cross © David Gill

The cross stood at the entrance to the Manse from 1823 to 1887 (when it was placed in the church).

Legio VI on Hadrian’s Wall


Legio VI inscription (inverted) in the Vicar’s Pele, Lanercost Priory © David Gill

A building inscription recording the work of Legio VI is built into the 13th century Vicar’s Pele at Lanercost Priory (RIB 1968), immediately below and to the left of the window. The inscription (incorporated upside down) records:

Leg(io) VI V[ic(trix)]
Pia Fid(elis) [f(ecit)]

It is suggested the stone was originally located on Hadrian’s Wall between Turret 49a and Milecastle 57.

Mann has noted a series of similar inscriptions naming Legio VI. One was observed at Birdoswald around 1599 (RIB 1916). Another comes from Milecastle 50 (High House) on the stone wall (i.e. to the north of Milecastle 50 on the turf wall) just to the west of the fort at Birdoswald (RIB 1934), and two more from Turret 50a (High House) on the Stone Wall (RIB 1938, 1939). Another was built into a farmhouse at Naworth, south of Turret 53a (Hare Hill) (RIB 1966), and another from Lanercost, south of Turret 53b (Craggle Hill) (RIB 1967).


Inscription in the Vicar’s Pele, Lanercost Priory © David Gill

Rievaulx Abbey: Galilee Porch


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The Galilee Porch is situated at the north end of the nave of the abbey church at Rievaulx. This probably dates to the 12th century.


Galilee Porch, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The porch contains the graves of lay individuals including Isabel de Roos (d. 1264) and Jordan (Hic iacet Jordanus).


Galilee Porch, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The path to St Ninian’s Cave


St Ninian’s Cave © David Gill

St Ninian’s cave is one of the sites around Whithorn under the care of Historic Scotland (see St Ninian’s Chapel on the Isle of Whithorn). A number of carved crosses were discovered in the tomb and are now in the Whithorn Museum.

The old Ministry sign contrasts with the more modern Historic Scotland access notice.

Reconstructions at Rievaulx Abbey


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

Part of the arcade round the infirmary cloister at Rievaulx Abbey was reconstructed after it came under State Guardianship. The site was cleared under the direction of Sir Charles Peers in the 1920s, and some reconstructions made.

This sign on the reconstructed cloister arch was observed by William G.A. Ormsby-Gore [see his guidebooks], First Commissioner of Works, during a visit in December 1933; he made the note that it was ‘neat and unobtrusive’ and suggested further labels be applied around the site.


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill


Infirmary cloister, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

  • Anna Keay 2004. The presentation of guardianship sites, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society 48:7-20 [Abstract]
  • Sebastian Fry 2014. A History of the National Heritage Collection 4: 1913-1931. The Ancient Monuments Branch under Peers and Baines. Research Report Series 48-2014. English Heritage.

Rievaulx Abbey: Dorter


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The entrance to the Dorter, or Dormitory, at Rievaulx Abbey lies at the south-eastern corner to the cloister, and immediately to the west of the Chapter House.


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The Dorter was placed over a vaulted day room that contained large fireplaces. The Reredorter was placed at right-angles to the Dorter on its south side.


Day Room, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill


Day Room, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The monks were able to pass from the Dorter, along a passage over the north end of the chapter house, and then via the night stairs in the south transept of the church.


South Transept, Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

Directions to the first Caerlaverock Castle


Caerlaverock Castle © David Gill

A path takes you through the woodland behind Caerlaverock Castle to the site of the first moated castle. The route is designated by discreet Ministry arrows signs (also found at Dunadd Fort).

The wood is adjacent to the nationally significant nature reserve.


Caerlaverock Castle © David Gill


Caerlaverock Castle © David Gill