Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering


Reverse of the 'Golspie' Pictish Stone from Sutherland, Scotland, 8th-9th century.
Dunrobin Museum.



Cross Slab (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)
Site Name: Golspie
Classification: Cross Slab (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)
Alternative Name: Craigton
Canmore ID 6564
Site Number NC80SW 13
NGR NC 837 002
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Archaeology Notes
NC80SW 13 837 002.
A Class II upright cross-slab with incised symbols and Ogams, now in Dunrobin Museum, is said to come from Craigton (NH 78 98) (Stuart 1856), Culmaily (NH 80 99) (Information contained in letter from Miss M W Grant to J Close-Brooks, 21 October 1975), or Golspie (NC 83 00) (Information contained in letter from J Close-Brooks to OS, 21 October 1975).
It is a rectangular slab of purple sandstone, 6ft high, 2ft 8ins wide at the base, 2ft wide at the top, and 6ins thick, which bears on the front an interlace cross, carved in relief, surrounded by panels of interlacing. The back bears incised symbols enclosed by a roll moulding on whose top and right hand edges Ogams have been carved. The symbols consist of a decorated rectangle, an 'elephant', an armed man facing a 'wolf', the fish, flower, crescent and V-rod, and double disc and Z-rod symbols, and a pair of 'serpents'.
As to the original location, the most likely provenance for an 8th - 9th century Christian cross-slab would be a contemporary ecclesiastical site, and the only one known in the area is Kilmailie (NH79NE 5); but the stone may have been in Golspie churchyard in 1780 (Cordiner 1780; 1788) and was certainly there in 1856 when it had an attached tradition of transference from Craigton (Stuart 1856).
A late inscription which has defaced the front of the slab is given as "Heir is the burial place to Robert Gordon, eldest son to Alex Gordon of Sutherland" and obviously refers to the Dunrobin family between 1514 and 1766. Its date and the burial place of the Robert Gordon commemorated would offer some clue to the whereabouts of the stone at that time.

It was transferred from Golspie churchyard to Dunrobin Museum in 1868 (Accession no: 15/15A).
C Cordiner 1780; 1788; J Stuart 1856; J Anderson and J R Allen 1903.
New Acc. No: 1868.62 Metric measurements 1.83m x 0.82m x 0.17m. (to plinth)
Information contained in TS of Catalogue of Dunrobin Museum by A S Henshall.
Class II symbol stone.
Source: Canmore

Previous: Picts on the Rear of Aberlemno 3 Stone, Aberlemno, Angus, Scotland, 8th-9th centuries
Next: Woodwray Stone with mounted hunters, Angus, Scotland. Carved in the 9th Century.
More Picts on Pictish Stones