Brodie, Rodney's Stone

Cross Slab (pictish), Ogham Inscribed Stone (pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (pictish)

Site Name Brodie, Rodney's Stone

Classification Cross Slab (pictish), Ogham Inscribed Stone (pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Dyke Parish Church; Brodie Castle Policies

Canmore ID 15529

Site Number NH95NE 3

NGR NH 98425 57665

NGR Description Removed from NH 990 584

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Dyke And Moy
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Morayshire


Desk Based Assessment

A Class II upright cross-slab of grey sandstone was found in 1781 during excavations for foundations for Dyke Church, which was constructed behind its pre-Reformation predecessor. The stone must have been in the graveyard of the old church (NH 990 584).

The stone was erected in Dyke village in commemoration of Rodney's victory over the Count de Grasse (Battle of the Saints - 1782) from which it received the name 'Rodney's Cross.' It was removed to the Park of Brodie a few years before 1842. (J G Callander has noted in the National Museum copy of Allen and Anderson 1903 "this stone was dug up by a gravedigger...locally known as Rotteny..and it was from this it got its name, not from Rodney's victory - authority of the late Rev. John MacEwan, minister of Dyke.)

The stone, erected on a modern base and held upright by wrought iron struts, is rectangular in shape, 6'4" high by 3'5" wide at the bottom and 3'2" wide at the top. It is sculptured in relief, with Ogham inscriptions down each of the four angles.

The front bears a cross with interlacing, and the back bears symbols including fish monsters, the elephant, double disc and z-rod.

Information from OS.

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845 (M Aitken); Name Book 1870; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903.

Laser Scanning (2010)

NH 98425 57665 Situated in the NTS Brodie Estate, Rodney’s

Stone is a Class II Pictish symbol stone, probably carved in

the 8th century. Along three corners runs the longest known

Scottish ogham inscription, extending for over 3m. Reused

as a recumbent grave marker in perhaps the 16th or 17th

century, it was rediscovered in 1781 during the excavation

of foundations for a new parish church in the village of

Dyke. Having been erected in Dyke the following year, it was

subsequently moved to its present position in the 1820s/30s.

Deri Jones Associates undertook a 3-D laser scan of the

entire stone, with further, higher resolution scans of the

ogham text/s and of strategic areas to act as a baseline for

condition monitoring between March–December 2010. Data

processing by Archaeoptics Ltd is ongoing; it is hoped that the

high resolution data will allow a more complete transcription

of the ogham to be created, elucidating some of the more

heavily eroded letters.

Archive: The National Trust Scotland and RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland,

Hunter Archaeological and Historical Trust

Reference (1997)

Class II symbol stone (known as the Rodney Stone) showing the cross on the west face.On the east face are two fish monsters with an elephant and a double-disc and Z-rod below them. An Ogam inscription is seen on the north edge.

A Mack 1997.

Field Visit (23 August 1965)

Rodney's stone is as described above but the well weathered Ogham inscriptions are now only visible on two of the side angles near the base of the stone. The origin of the name, still in use, could not be ascertained: there is no local knowledge of the name 'Rotteny'.

Visited by OS (RD), 23 August 1965.

Rcahms Note

NH95NE 3 98425 57665 (removed from NH 990 584)

(NH 9842 5766) Sculptured Stone (NR)

called Rodney's Stone (NAT)

OS 6" map, 1906.


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