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Rosemarkie, Church Place, Rosemarkie Parish Church, Sculptured Stone

Carved Stone (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Rosemarkie, Church Place, Rosemarkie Parish Church, Sculptured Stone

Classification Carved Stone (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Rosemarkie Churchyard, No. 4

Canmore ID 14396

Site Number NH75NW 7.04

NGR NH 7372 5763

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/14396

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Rosemarkie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Rosemarkie 3, Ross & Cromarty, possible panel fragment

Measurements: H 0.25m, W 0.27m, D 0.05m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NH 7372 5763

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (IB 127) (cast in Groam House Museum).

Evidence for discovery: found during grave-digging in the churchyard at Rosemarkie and given to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in 1885.

Present condition: all the edges are broken but the condition of the surviving carving is good.

Description

This tantalisingly small fragment is carved in relief on one face with part of a narrative scene involving beasts and a human head. The head is seen in profile facing left, with strongly defined nose, large eye, pointed beard and long hair, and the neck appears to the body of an animal. His nose is being licked by a large animal with bared teeth, its jaw and neck outlined by an inner incised line. Behind the man the snout of an animal grasps his hair, and below his head a third beast seems to be sniffing him intently. The first and third beasts have the same shell-like ear. Above this menacing scene are the four taloned feet of a large creature, the rest of whose body is missing.

Date: eighth or ninth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 86-7; Henderson 1990, [15-16[; Henderson & Henderson 2004, 155; Seright & Henderson 2013, 11.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2017.

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Rosemarkie 4, Ross & Cromarty, possible cross-slab fragment

Measurements: H 0.34m, W 0.37m, D 0.08m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NH 7372 5763

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (IB 119), on loan to Groam House Museum.

Evidence for discovery: found in the churchyard at Rosemarkie and given to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in 1885.

Present condition: very worn and all edges are broken

Description

This fragment is carved in shallow relief on one broad face with the remains of a figural scene, and it may have been part of a cross-slab or a panel. Traces of the lower part of two figures survive, both walking to the left and evidently depicted in profile. One is wearing an elaborately decorated ankle-length garment, possibly pleated, with a border of key pattern. Behind this figure is another in a slightly shorter, apparently plain, tunic, who is carrying a staff or spear.

Date: eighth or ninth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 87-8; Henderson 1990, [16-17]; Seright & Henderson 2013, 10.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2017.

Archaeology Notes

NH75NW 7.04 7372 5763

No. 4. A fragment of a Class 3 sculptured stone 0.36m x 0.32m by 0.08m, found in Rosemarkie churchyard. One face is pitted suggesting the presence of a form of interlacing, now weathered away. The other face bears the remains of a pair of figures, one in decorated robes, the other holding a staff. Only the lower regions remain. Donated to the Royal Museum of Scotland (RMS, formerly the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS]) by Major C Mackenzie in 1855 (Accession no. IB 119).

Information from R Jones to RCAHMS, 1980.

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