In 1863, a fragment of an early Christian high cross was found in a garden wall adjacent to Aberlady kirkyard. Recent research by the Society and others has highlighted the importance of this cross fragment to our understanding not only the origins and early history of Aberlady, but also of its relationship with the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and the evolution of the early church in these islands.
The original carved cross would have been magnificent and nearly five metres tall when raised on the high ground of the present kirkyard 1300 years ago. The intricate carvings of Mediterranean vine scrolls, intertwined beasts and seabirds, and key patterns in the cross fragment bear a strikingly close relationship with the illuminated artwork that characterises the Lindisfarne Gospels, made on Holy Island around 720 AD.
A reconstruction of how the original cross may have looked, funded by grants awarded to the Society by Tyne Esk LEADER, now stands within the village Memorial Garden. The Society re-laid the paths of the memorial garden, adding four stone benches and two large onyx plant holders to improve its appearance. We are still in discussion about how the site might be further improved as a community garden.