Almost exactly a mile south of the southern edge of Oban, a minor single track road leaves the A816 and heads south west towards Lerags and Ardentallen, on the north shore of Loch Feochan. This is one of those roads, and Scotland has many of them, that don't really go anywhere significant, but are well worth following anyway. A mile down this road, a track on the left near a space just large enough to leave a car gives access to the short grassy climb to Lerags Cross.
Lerags Cross is a fine, if rather battered, example of a late medieval free-standing cross. It is often referred to as "The Campbell of Lerags Cross" and stands 3.13 metres high by 0.69 metres across the arms of the cross. The side facing you as you approach from the east is obviously the "rear" of the cross and the intricate carving on this face has been partly obscured by lichen. The carving on the front or western face, looking away from you as you approach, is much more easily visible and covers the entire face of the cross from top to bottom.
The carving on the west face is topped off by a representation of the crucifixion. There are then eleven lines of text, in Latin and in Gothic script, which in translation says: "Archibald Campbell of Lerags caused me to be made in the year of Our Lord 1516". Beneath the text is a panel carrying an abstract pattern, and at the foot of this face is a panel showing a unicorn. The carving covering the eastern or rear face comprises interwoven foliage, with the upper arm of the cross carrying Archibald Campbell's heraldic shield including two quarters of ships.
It isn't possible to see whether the sides of the cross carry any carvings. The cross only stands because it is held in a metal frame which completely sheathes the side faces of the shaft. The reason for this is pretty obvious from the deep cracks which run across the shaft of the cross in two places. The shaft has at some point been broken into three pieces.
The cross was originally carved from a single piece of greenish schist and was, as the inscription states, erected by Archibald Campbell of Lerags in 1516. But not here. It is thought that the cross was originally erected on a smaller mound two hundred metres to the south of its current location known as Bealach-an-t-sleuch-daidh. This placed it quite close to the (now ruined) Kilbride Church, at a point where the road you see today crossed another, which ran from Gallanach, on the coast opposite Kerrera, south east to the head of Loch Feochan.
The cross was no longer standing by 1700, and it seems reasonable to assume someone took exception to its crucifixion scene during the Reformation and broke it into pieces. These were used to decorate graves in the kirkyard. The cross was restored and erected on its current site in 1926.
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Grid Ref: NM 858 258