St Patrick’s footprint – an early Medieval royal inauguration site at Portpatrick? - NMS Research Repository
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St Patrick’s footprint – an early Medieval royal inauguration site at Portpatrick?

Abstract

A rock-cut footprint linked in tradition to St Patrick was recorded and destroyed during harbour works at Portpatrick (Wigtownshire) in the early nineteenth century. This paper argues it was an early Medieval royal inauguration site, based on wider Scottish and Irish parallels. The footprint's setting, on a rock in a harbour, created a natural amphitheatre with a backdrop of the Irish coast which may well have been a key element of the tradition. James Fraser's analysis of early Medieval sources for Portpatrick and the wider context of such stones suggests a ninth-century Hiberno-Norse (Gall-Gaidhel) context is possible.

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