The Kilberry Stones: medieval and early Christian artefacts

They were moved from the basement to the current purpose-built shelter in 1951.

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The Kilberry stones, now in the care of Historic Scotland, are a collection of early Christian and medieval gravestones, discovered within the grounds of Kilberry Castle.

They are now housed in a shelter at the top of the drive. Some in the past had been put to practical use as bridge supports.

Kilberry’s sculptured stones collection is thought to have come from the site of the medieval parish church on the Kilberry Castle estate, a little to the east of the castle itself.

The church is first mentioned in about 1350. It was burnt down in the 1640s by the Campbells of Kilberry to prevent the besieging Royalist force of Alastair McDonald making use of it.

The church yard fell into disuse in the following century and probably lies under the Victorian bowling green.

The stones, which were propped up against the outside of the Campbell mausoleum, were moved to the castle’s basement in 1948 by archaeologist, historian and Kilberry Castle owner Marion Campbell, who invited Historic Scotland to take them into state care.

They were moved from the basement to the current purpose-built shelter in 1951.

The collection comprises 26 sculptured stones.

The stones cover a range of styles and eras – from early Christian to late-medieval grave-slabs. The centre piece is the Kilberry Cross.

The church’s burial ground may lie beneath the bowling green of the castle, which is currently up for sale for £650,000, as human bones were recovered during work on a drain beneath the green in the 1920s.

A cement facsimile of the Kilberry cross stands outside the Campbell mausoleum, and a pilgrim’s penitence cup is etched into the stone base.

A collection of fonts and a crescent-shaped stone from the medieval period lie besides the entrance of the castle.