No. 7. Cross of Conbelin
The largest of the Margam Stones, and with the most decorative and figurative carvings, the RCAHMW describe it as "the most impressive of the monuments of this category in the county, if not in all Wales". It has an immense stone wheel-cross with knot-work arcs, plaitwork cross, and a central boss. The shaft includes carved figures flanking the cross, taken to be St John ...holding his gospel, and the virgin Mary. This is set into a massive stone pedestal block with intricate geometrical patterns and a hunting scene which would originally have formed the front, but was at some point reversed, so is now at the back of the pedestal. Both parts are made from Pennant sandstone and it has been known traditionally as 'The Sanctuary Stone'.
Some time between 950 and 1050 AD.
1, within the top-left quadrant of the cross: CONBELIN P[O]SUIT HANC CRUCEM (P[RO] [A]NIMA RI[C?])
'Conbelin erected this cross for the soul of Ric...'
2, on the upper left ring margin: + SODNA + CRUCEM FECIT
Sodna made this cross.
It was first documented in 1690 and in 1798 it was leaning against the wall of a cottage outside Margam churchyard. By 1879 it had been moved by the Talbot family into the Chapter House ruins of the Abbey, and in 1932 was transferred to the Museum building.