Pan-Ross Archaeology

Pan Ross Collage

The stone at the conservators.  [Photo:  NOSAS]

Another view at the same location. 
[Photo: NOSAS]

A Pictish Stone from the Dingwall area

In August 2019 the news broke that a carved Pictish stone had been discovered at the site of an early Christian church in the Dingwall area.

The stone, thought to have been carved around 1200 years ago, is decorated with a number of Pictish symbols and is likely to have measured more than two metres in height when originally carved.  It has been described as bearing two massive beasts "unlike anything found on any other Pictish stone" and has lain on the ground since at least the 1700s when it was reused as a grave marker..

While undertaking a survey of the church site earlier in 2019, Anne Macinnes of the North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NOSAS) was clearing vegetation, saw the carving and recognised its importance.  Her find was subsequently verified by archaeologists from Highland Council and Historic Environment Scotland.

Carefully removing the stone.  [Photo:  NOSAS]

Subsequently, the stone was removed from the site by specialist conservators in order to have it repaired, cleaned, recorded and mounted, prior to being put on permanent public display in Dingwall Museum.

Gravestone replacing the Pictish stone.  [Photo courtesy of NOSAS]

The Pictish stone had been used as a grave marker commemorating a McAulay family (see below) and so NOSAS arranged to have a replica made and erected.  This gained approval from Clan McAulay who gave a generous donation towards the project.

NOSAS and the Pictish Arts Society embarked on a campaign to raise the £20,000 estimated to be the cost of restoration.  Donations may be made via 

For those who prefer a more traditional method of contributing, cheques (made payable to NOSAS) may be posted, or handed personally, to Mr David Duguid of Picaresque Books, 55 High Street, Dingwall, IV15 9HL. 

The Pictish stone in November 2020 resting in what will be its permanent home in Dingwall Museum.  Work on the display area continued during Covid-19 lockdown but prevented its unveiling and so it remains shrouded until circumstances change. 
[Photo RCHS]

Unveiled at last,15 December 2020.  [Photo RCHS]

The Pictish stone in situ.  [Photo courtesy of NOSAS]

The inscription reads: 
Hugh McA
ulay Ale
xander Mc
January 2
17    96

This is a copy of the sketch created by Jim Buchanan to show the two faces of the Pictish Stone as it would have been when created.  © NOSAS 

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