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Breck Of Hillwell

Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Breck Of Hillwell

Classification Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Canmore ID 123604

Site Number HU31SE 39

NGR HU 372 146

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Dunrossness
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland


Breck of Hillwell, Shetland, Pictish symbol stone

Measurements: H 1.0m, W 0.23 < 0.33m

Stone type: Old Red Sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 372 146

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (A59-1997).

Evidence for discovery: found in 1997 re-used as part of the cover of a field drain.

Present condition: worn and truncated with severe flaking.


Face A of this long and tapering rectangular slab is incised with two Pictish symbols: a crescent above a rectangle. The symbols are close to the base of the stone as it survives, but there has been truncation of the lower edge, and flaking of the surface has removed much of the crescent and most of the rectangle. The crescent shows traces of a hatched double spiral motif and a hatched arc motif close to the left-hand tip of the crescent. There is definitely no V-rod associated with the crescent. The rectangle appears to have been divided into two equal parts horizontally, and there are traces of chevrons in the upper part and a curvilinear motif in the lower,

Date: seventh century.

References: Fraser 2008: no 194; Scott & Ritchie 2009: no 2.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

HU31SE 39 372 146

HU 372 146 Pictish symbol stone: red sandstone slab, possibly broken top and bottom. On lower half of stone are remains of two symbols. Top symbol shows half of a crescent, within which is hatched decoration. Little remains of the lower symbol which could have been a rectangle. Found while being used as a field drain cover. A59-1997.

Shetland Museum 1997.


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