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Kintore, Pictish Symbol Stone

Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish), Saddle Quern (Pictish)

Site Name Kintore, Pictish Symbol Stone

Classification Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish), Saddle Quern (Pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Kintore No. 4

Canmore ID 18631

Site Number NJ71NE 69

NGR NJ 790 162

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Kintore
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire


Kintore 4, Aberdeenshire, Pictish symbol stone fragment

Measurements: H 0.94m, W 0.46m

Stone type: granite

Place of discovery: NJ 790 162

Present location: Inverurie Museum (I 6905).

Evidence for discovery: found amongst ‘cleared topsoil’ in a garden in Henderson Crescent, Kintore, in 1974, and given to Inverurie Museum in or before 1984.

Present condition: the edges are all broken and the carving is worn.


This is part of what was once a substantial stone, incised with at least three symbols. Close above a Pictish beast is a square symbol, while beneath the beast and to the right is an arc which was probably a mirror. The square has a semi-circular expansion at two opposing corners, lower left and upper right, each with two ‘armpits’ with central pellets. Within the square is a smaller square with similar corner motifs, but this time expanding inwards and set at the lower right and upper left corners.

Date: seventh century.

References: Fraser 2008, no 31.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2017


Reference (1974)

NJ 790 162. A fragment of a symbol stone was found among cleared top-soil in a garden at Kintore. The symbols include the 'elephant', a portion of the mirror, and a symbol consisting of two squares one within the other. The outer square is embellished at two opposite corners with ovals on the exterior, and the inner square has been similarly embellished on the interior of the other two corners.

The larger part of a broken saddle quern was found in the same place.

Both stones are in the possession of the finder, Mr May, 11 Henderson Terrace.

A A Woodham 1974.

External Reference (18 October 1984)

No. 4 Now in Inverurie Museum.

Information from Grampian Regional Council, 18 October 1984.

Reference (1994)

This stone was found among cleared topsoil in a garden at Kintore; it bears a 'beast', mirror and a symbol consisting of two squares, one within the other with opposed scalloped corners. It is now in the care of North-East of Scotland Libraries and Museum Services, Inverurie.

RCAHMS 1994.

Reference (1997)

Kintore 4. Class I symbol stone bearing a square, an elephant and a mirror.

A Mack 1997.

Note (17 May 2001)

The accession number of this Pictish symbol stone in Inverurie Museum is PEHMS: I 6905; the accession number of the quern is not known.

Information from RCAHMS (JRS), 17 May 2001.


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