The Runic Monument in Ruthwell Churchyard, from The Antiquities of Dumfries and its Neighbourhood Collected and Drawn by John McCormick

The inside cover of this sketchbook shows a sepia photograph of the artist, John McCormick, along with a pencil drawing of The Runic Monument in Ruthwell Church Yard.  The Runic Monument (Ruthwell Cross) stands nearly 18 feet tall and was made during the AD 700s.  It would have marked a spot where people gathered to hold church services.   Local tradition claims that the cross was brought north to Ruthwell from Priestwoodside on the Solway Firth.  Made from a hard gritty sandstone, the cross is richly decorated with sculptured panels portraying the stories of Christ's Life.  From the 8th to the 17th centuries the cross survived inside an early church at Ruthwell.  In 1643 the cross was removed and buried in the earthen floor of the church, as it was found to be out of keeping with the Presbyterian beliefs of the time.  Internal alterations to the church in the 1780s saw it moved once more, this time to the garden of the Rev Henry Duncan.  Later when it showed signs of weathering, it was moved back within the church where it can still be seen today.   These sketches of various buildings in and around Dumfries were mainly compiled through McCormick's own study of the area and by speaking to those who remembered the buildings, as the majority of them were no longer in existence or in a ruinous state by McCormick's time.
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(Ruthwell Cross image) height 140mm, width 31mm; (page) height 198mm, width 245mm
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pencil, paper
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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