The Ardrossan Sarcophagus

This stone coffin was discovered in 1911 by council workers who were landscaping the remains of old Ardrossan Church, on Castle Hill.   Found beneath the church floor, its lid had been pushed to one side and it contained part of a skull and a fragment of leather. It is one of the finest known examples of lowland Scottish medieval sculpture.   The coffin would have originally lain close to the altar of the church with the head of the deceased facing West to bring him closer to God. There has been much speculation as to who was buried in the coffin. Ardrossan church is adjacent to Ardrossan Castle and it may have been made for one of the lords of Ardrossan. The ornate cross and sheathed sword suggests that the person buried was a soldier and a Christian.   The lower section of the sarcophagus is hollowed out in the shape of a man with a raised 'pillow'' for the head. The carved design on the lid is a floriate cross on a stepped base, a sheathed sword, and fleur-de-lys and trefoil ornamentation.
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2230mm x 880mm x 680mm
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North Ayrshire Council
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