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St Vigeans carved stones Description of collection

Event ID 1085676

Category Descriptive Accounts



St Vigeans Church & Churchyard (St Féchín)

This early church site, perched on a knoll, has yielded over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries some 40 early medieval carved fragments, found built into the walls of the church or buried in the graveyard. The collection spans the eighth and ninth centuries and is dominated by cross-slabs, but there are also fragments of three or four free-standing crosses, four recumbent graveslabs, and two cross-marked boulders. Among the more unusual monuments are a solid house-shrine (no 29), a pillar cross (no 16) and a furnishing finial (no 27). Six of the stones incorporate Pictish symbols into their ornament (nos 1-6), and there is a wide variety of interlaced, key and spiral patterns. Among the figural scenes, a crouched archer, holy men in long tunics with embroidered hems and depictions of chairs stand out, as does the iconography of St Antony and St Paul. Among the animals on the stones, a fine seated stag, a supercilious bird with elaborate plumage, a tusked boar and a bear are memorable. Sculptural technique ranges from incision to high relief.

St Vigianus is now identified as the Irish St Fechin.

Primary reference: Geddes 2017

A Ritchie 2019

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