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Field Visit

Date September 2013 - April 2014

Event ID 1008428

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


The Class II Pictish Symbol Stone known as Rodney’s Stone is a Scheduled

Monument, scheduled in 1923 (SAM Index No. 1226, NH95NE0002, NMRS No. NH95NE 3, Canmore ID 15529; NGR NH984 576). The cross with interlace is carved onto the west side with the symbol-bearing side on the eastern face (as the stone is currently displayed).

Rodney’s Stone is an example of symbol stone that contains the enigmatic socalled Pictish beast amongst its symbols. Carved in relief are also the symbols of two paired sea monsters or fish (at top), and the double-disc and Z-rod (below). Along three corners is carved the longest Ogham inscription known from Scotland, extending over 3m (Fraser 2010, 112).

Shannon Fraser records that the stone had been reused as a recumbent grave marker, possibly in the 16th or 17th century, before it was rediscovered in 1781 during excavation for foundations of the new parish church at Dyke. The stone was erected at Dyke in 1782, as a memorial to Admiral Rodney’s victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes off Dominica in 1782, but subsequently moved to its current position in the grounds of Brodie Castle, presumably in the 1820s to 1830s (Fraser 2010, 112). In the NSA Rev M Aitken writing on the Parishes of Dyke and Moy (1842) includes the first mention of Rodney’s Stone, noting that ‘near the northern approach to Brodie House is a sort of obelisk, about six feet high, forming a parallelogram … A few years ago it was removed to the Park of Brodie’. Watson (1868) describes the ‘obelisk’ to be ‘At the north end of the park’. It can be assumed that these writers are referring to the end of

the East drive as the most northerly of the three entrance drives and so the stone was moved here some time before 1842.

The stone, which is assessed as badly weathered, is dated by stylistic analysis

to the 8th century AD. To aid its conservation management the stone was

3D-laser-scanned by Deri Jones Associates for NTS. Higher resolution survey was undertaken in the areas of the Ogham text and of strategic areas to act as a baseline for condition monitoring. The scan was undertaken 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, elucidating some of the more heavily eroded letters (Fraser 2010, 112; also see Fraser 2008 and Canmore).

(BRD14 A17)

Information from NTS (SCS) February 2016

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