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Newbigging, Leslie

Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Newbigging, Leslie

Classification Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Leith Hall; Wolf Stone

Canmore ID 18163

Site Number NJ62NW 41

NGR NJ 6055 2581

NGR Description Removed to NJ 5399 2998

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Leslie (Gordon)
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Newbigging, Leslie, Aberdeenshire, Pictish symbol stone fragment

Measurements: H 0.70m, W 0.67m, D 0.18m

Stone type: red granite

Place of discovery: NJ 6055 2581

Present location: in a shelter against the north wall of the walled garden at Leith Hall (Canmore ID 17673).

Evidence for discovery: found about 1842 buried in a field and used in the building of a field wall, when part of it was broken off. It was retrieved and placed in the garden rockery at the farm later in the nineteenth century (NJ 60352575), and subsequently in the twentieth century it was taken to Leith Hall.

Present condition: almost all the edges are broken and, subsequent to 1903, a large area has flaked off, taking with it one forepaw and both hind paws, which have been recut at some period in the later twentieth century.


This fragment is carved on one broad face, and a short length of the original left-hand side of the slab appears to be intact. The quality of the incised work is high and depicts a realistic wolf accompanied by a rectangle and a mirror and comb. The wolf is padding along with tail and ear at rest, facing right, with tongue visible between the jaws. The rectangle above has two comma-like motifs across the diagonal, and the mirror to the right of the wolf has a double-ball handle with a twisted grip. The comb is single-sided with an ornately shaped back and three rivets.

Date: seventh century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 177-8; Fraser 2008, no 37.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2017.

Archaeology Notes

NJ62NW 41 6055 2581 removed to 5399 2998

(NJ 541 297) A fragment of a Pictish symbol stone, illustrated by Stewart (1867), and by Allen and Anderson (1903), now stands at the side of the walks in the garden of Leith Hall. It came from Newbigging Farm, Leslie, where both its original site and the position where it stood for many years within the farm garden are shown on OS 6 inch map 1901 at NJ 6055 2581 and NJ 6035 2575 respectively.

Stuart states that it was found about 1841 "in trenching a piece of ground ... near other large stones which were buried in the ground" and built into a dyke, when part of it was broken off. Shortly before 1866 it was removed from the dyke.

The Name Book, compiled 1866, states that the stone was found sunken

in marshy ground in an inclined position facing Bennachie. No

mention is made of other large stones.

Name Book 1866; J Stuart 1867; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; J Ritchie 1915.


Field Visit (19 September 1967)

Along with the 'Salmon Stone' (NJ52NW 19), this symbol stone is now situated in a lean-to shed at NJ 5399 2998 in the gardens of Leith Hall, amongst a collection of quern and other mill stones. Labelled 'Wolf Stone', it is as illustrated.

Visited by OS (RL) 19 September 1967.

Reference (1997)

Class I symbol stone showing a rectangle above a wolf with a mirror-and-comb to the right.

A Mack 1997.

Field Visit (5 October 2016)

This Pictish symbol stone is now a panel built into the NE wing-wall of the garden gate at Leith Hall (NJ 53916 29852), while the symbol stone from Hillhead of Clatt (NJ52NW 19) forms a panel in the SW wing-wall.

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, AMcC), 5 October 2016

External Reference

GRC/AAS no. NJ52NW 19.

NMRS, MS/712/52.


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