The basal structures of Scottish crosses and cross-slabs were not of great interest to Romilly Allen. Indeed, more is to be learned from their incidental appearances in the illustrations of ECMS than from the great archaeologist's descriptions, so meticulous for the ornamented sculptures themselves. Such attention as he gave to this material often concerned the display and conservation of the sculptures rather than the archaeology of their supports. In a rare piece of negative information, Allen noted that the Maiden Stone was 'not erected on a base', but the existence of other structures often passed without comment. The only ancient bases for which he recorded dimensions were the massive irregular slab supporting the Mugdrum Cross and the stepped plinths of St Martin's (Figure 10.2) and St Matthew's Crosses, Iona, whose statistics were reproduced from Sir Henry Dryden's papers. 1 All other references to old and new bases combined were outweighed by the two pages of correspondence on the re-erection of the St Madoes cross-slab in 1853. These reports from the parish schoolmaster to the antiquary T S Muir, who commissioned the work, concluded with the once-neglected slab standing 'in state majestic' on a new plinth of Bannockburn stone. 2 A report on the construction of a 'built foundation' for Aberlemno 2 (the churchyard slab) in 1898 was again provided by a local participant, the parish minister. Excavation showed that the butt of the slab had been earthfast and 'rested on the substratum of rock which underlies the churchyard'. The contrast with the nearby roadside slab in its socket-stone was noted in the minister's brief but lucid letter. 3