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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Ardjachie Farm

Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Ardjachie Farm

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Canmore ID 14736

Site Number NH78SW 17

NGR NH 746 845

NGR Description NH c.746 845

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

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

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Ardjachie Farm, Edderton, Ross & Cromarty, Pictish symbol stone

Measurements: H 1.79m, W 0.65m, D 0.35m

Stone type:

Place of discovery: NH 746 845

Present location: outside Tain Museum.

Evidence for discovery: uncovered during ploughing around 1960.

Present condition: broken and worn.


This irregular boulder was clearly chosen to be a symbol stone because it already bore a large number of prehistoric cupmarks. The incised symbols comprise a ‘wheel’-like disc with central hub and twelve spokes, carved above a plain L-shaped step symbol.

Date: seventh century.

References: DES 1971, 38-9; Fraser 2008, no 117.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2017


Field Visit (September 1977)

Ardjachie NH 746 845 NH78SW

This boulder (1.7m by 0.65m by 0.35m), which was uncovered by the plough about 1960, is now at Tain Museum. One face bears about thirty irregular cup-shaped depressions and a symbol resembling a spoked wheel.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1977

(DES, 1971, 38-9)

Field Visit (7 September 2013 - 10 September 2013)

NH 746 845, NH 744 848 and NH78SW 26 A programme of archaeological work was carried out, 7–10 September 2013, as part of the Northern Picts: Archaeology of Fortriu project. A geophysical survey was conducted, which aimed to contextualise the landscape location of the Pictish symbol stone (NH78SW 17), which was found at Ardjachie during ploughing in the 1960s. A total of 28 20 x 20m grids were surveyed using gradiometry and 9 grids using resitivity. The geophysical surveys showed few features with the exception of one round, c10m diameter, anomaly identified in the resistivity survey. A test pit suggested this was simply a variation in the subsoil.

A DGPS survey was conducted on the peninsula to map features which had been identified by local society members. The features included midden layers (NH78SW 25) and other unrecorded structural remains of uncertain date. Pottery recovered from one of the middens has been provisionally identified as Beaker pottery and was found in association with a finely worked flint tool.

Archive: University of Aberdeen

Funder: University of Aberdeen, Development Trust, University of Aberdeen and Tarbat Discovery Centre

Gordon Noble and Oskar G. Sveinbjarnarson, University of Aberdeen, 2013

(Source: DES)

Field Visit (12 December 2019)

The carvings are on a standing stone which includes 2 Pictish symbols. The stone was found in a field about 7 miles to the NW (at NH 74600 84500) and moved to its present position soon after it was found. It is now beside the SE wall of Tain museum. There is a wall to the S and E and the burial ground of the Collegiate Church and St Duthac's chapel is to the N. The street is to the E.

The standing stone is 0.65 x 0.35m and 1.5m high. The back of the stone is much wider at the base. There do not appear to be any cup marks or carvings on the back or sides of the stone. There was a little moss on the back of the stone but no lichen. The front (N face) of the stone had a little moss and a thick cover of fine lichen. The moss was removed and the lichen brushed but not removed before recording. There are at least 32 single cupmarks, some small ones and some larger ones on the front face. There is 1 clear rosette, and another possible rosette with some damage on the top 2 cups, on the top right part of the stone. On the left side of this face there are 3 grooves, one joining 2 cups and the other two each running down from a single cup. The rest of the cups appear to be randomly placed, although there is a cluster at the bottom of the stone. The 2 Pictish symbols are centrally placed on the stone nearer to the top than the bottom and consist of a 'wheel' symbol and an upside down L. The photogrammetry suggests there may be more shallow carving to the right of the upside down L, this may be more Pictish carving. The photogrammetry revealed more cups and details than were visible on the day of the visit and on previous drawings.

Visited by Scotland's Rock Art Project, 12 December 2019


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