St Martin's Cross, Iona
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington
Medium: Photographic print
"St. Martin's Cross stands in the front of the Cathedral, and is of large size, being fourteen feet high, eighteen inches broad, and six inches thick. It is composed of one solid column of the hardest whin rock, and is fixed into a massive pedestal of red granite about three feet high, in which are cut three steps round. The carving has been somewhat obliterated by the effects of the weather, and is much overgrown with lichen. The quarrying of such a column, the transporting of it to the island, and the carrying and erecting of it, have justly excited the admiration of visitors, as indicating an amount of skill and resources, at a very early period, possessed by the inhabitants of the Western Islands, greatly beyond what is supposed. The remains of St. John's Cross are also placed on a pedestal of granite, but from having, by some violent means, been broken down and allowed to lie on the ground, little of its sculptural work is to be seen. On the part still remaining there is a rude representation of the Temptation. The arms and upper part of this cross are buried in the ground, with the exception of a fragment of one of the arms which is lying by the pedestal."
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of English and Scottish Scenery' by G W Wilson