The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

St Vigeans Sculptured Stones

A fascinating and very important collection of over 30 Pictish carved stones.

St Vigeans Sculptured Stones

It is hard to believe that this sleepy Angus village of St Vigeans was once the centre of a royal estate and of huge religious importance, bustling with prayerful pilgrims and monks. Admittedly, this was more than 1,000 years ago, so visitors could be forgiven for missing the evidence that is scattered around and in the walls of the late medieval church (not HS) perched on a striking 40ft mound in front of them.

The most important indications of the village’s powerful past can be found, however, in two adjoining sandstone cottages along its only street. Within their walls in Historic Scotland’s museum are housed 38 carved stones, which had once stood up on the old church mound to broadcast early messages of the true Christian faith.

The newly refurbished museum gives overdue recognition to the significance of the carvings. ‘The stones are among the last and very finest expressions of Pictish art, which makes them tremendously important – part of our national collection of the earliest art of Scotland.

The quality of carving on some of the stones is as good as anything in Western Europe at that time. These included the Drosten Stone, a cross-slab dating from the early 800s and inscribed in both Latin and Pictish, carved on one side with a cross and on the other with figures and symbols; a house shrine; and a fragment of a huge freestanding cross.

As well as their historical significance, there is much to intrigue visitors in the carvings, such as devilish imps, saintly figures and bizarre beasts. There are also vivid depictions of the everyday life of the Picts. They illustrate the reality of their world: details of contemporary costumes, riding equipment, and a crossbow man.

Inspiring Learning beyond the Classroom
Historic Scotland cares for the very best of Scotland’s heritage, inspiring learning through our free educational visits scheme for schools, colleges, universities and other qualifying groups.
View Learning Services pages

www.pictishstones.org.uk homepage
Find out more about Pictish Stones at www.pictishstones.org.uk

Location

Region – Perthshire, Kinross and Angus

In the village of St Vigeans 0.5m north of Arbroath off of the A92. DD11 4RB

Grid reference
N0638429


Access

Open by appointment only. Please telephone 01241 878 756 for details.

Due to the layout and space limitations care should be taken when taking personal photographs within the museum.

Admission
Adult £4.50
Child £2.70
Concession £3.60

Parking
Whist there is parking available on the adjacent street, we would prefer visitors to use the nearby public car park following the Brown tourist road signposting off the A92.

Facilities

Toilets Reasonable Wheelchair Access Shop Disabled Toilets Display on HistoryDogs not Permitted

Green Tourism Award - Silver