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Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

Magnificent range of Pictish sculptured stones depicting a hunting scene, battle scene and an army of men

Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

Magnificent range of Pictish sculptured stones - depicting a hunting scene, battle scene between an army of men with long hair and an army of men wearing helmets.

Aberlemno Southern Roadside Stone

This stone is highly eroded but may bear the traces of a curving symbol. It was found in the field behind the present site. The function of the stones the Picts erected is uncertain but the nearby fort of Finavon (1.5km to the east) may have been the residence of a Pictish chieftain.

Aberlemno Northern Roadside Stone

This stone bears several Pictish symbols; a serpent, a double disc and z-rod and a mirror and comb. No definitive interpretation has been found for these symbols. The stone was found in the field behind and, judging from prehistoric cup marks on its back, seems to have been an earlier monument reused by the Picts.

Aberlemno Roadside Cross Slab

This stone is carved on both sides. One face is decorated with an elaborate cross flanked by angels while the other shows a hunting scene with the Pictish symbols of a crescent and V-rod, a double disc and Z-rod and a depiction of King David fighting the lion.

While the Pictish symbols show a continuity with the two earlier stones along the road, the introduction of Christian images and decorative styles drawn from manuscript illustration, shows the impact of the arrival of Christianity.

Churchyard Cross Slab

This stone is considered one of the finest surviving pieces of Pictish carving. It has a fine cross with elaborate interlace decoration flanked by zoomorphic patterns of entwined beasts. The side facing the church bears a battle scene between an army of men with long hair and an army of men wearing helmets.

It is thought this may commemorate the Battle of Nechtansmere (possibly thought to be near Dunnichen 10km South of here) fought in 685 AD, in which King Ecgfrith of Northumbria was killed, ending the Anglian occupation of the south of Pictland. The long-haired Picts are clearly victorious in the scene which shows a helmeted, Anglian rider fleeing while the corpse of one of his comrades.

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Location

Region – Perthshire, Kinross and Angus

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25 October 2014

John Lowrie Morrison: Westlight - Northeastlight

Duff House

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Fright Night

Linlithgow Palace

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Music Through the Ages

Edinburgh Castle

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