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Dyce, Saint Fergus' Church, Pictish Cross-slab No 2

Cross Slab (Pictish), Ogham Inscribed Stone (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Dyce, Saint Fergus' Church, Pictish Cross-slab No 2

Classification Cross Slab (Pictish), Ogham Inscribed Stone (Pictish), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Chapel Of St Fergus; Old Parish Church Of Dyce; Dyce, Old Church

Canmore ID 19466

Site Number NJ81NE 8.02

NGR NJ 8752 1541

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Dyce
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire


Reference (1903)

NJ81NE 8.02 8752 1541

This Class II symbol stone is said to have been found in the glebe; it stood for a long time built into the wall of the churchyard, but has been placed [sic] under the Ancient Monuments Act and is now protected from the weather within the ancient church.

It is an upright cross-slab of granite, of rectangular shape, 4ft 6ins (1.4m) high by 2ft (0.6m) wide, sculptured in relief on one face with, in the middle of the cross at the top, a cross with round hollows in the angles between the arms and spiral terminations to the top and two side arms, the end of the shaft being square.

The ornament on the cross is arranged in five distinct pieces, but not divided into seperate panels, as follows: (1) in the centre of the cross a circular piece of spiral-work consisting of four triple sirals with C-shaped connections and joined to Stafford knots which fill in the triangular spaces between each of the three outer spirals; (2) on the top arm of the cross interlaced-work, composed of two Stafford knots facing upwards at the top, then two spiral knots twisting in opposite directions, and in the narrow part between the hollows on each side of the arm a single Stafford knot facing downwards; (3) on the left arm a distorted Stafford knot with an additional band through one loop of it, combined with a small piece of broken plait-work; (4) on the right arm of the cross, the same as on the left arm, except that, instead of the distorted Stafford knot, there is a spiral knot having a left-handed twist; (5) on the shaft of the cross, spiral knots arranged in two vertical rows, with four knots in each row, those in the left-hand row twisting and facing in opposite directions alternately, and those in the right-hand row arranged similarly except in the case of the bottom knot which twists and faces the same way as the knot immediately above it. The pattern terminates at the top in a Stafford knot facing upwards, and at the bottom by joining and twisting the bands coming from each row.

The background of the cross is plain on each side of the top arm. On the left of the shaft of the cross near the bottom is the crescent and V-shaped rod symbol, and on the right the mirror-case symbol. Below these on the left the disc and pair of rings symbol, and on the right the double disc and Z-shaped rod symbol. The crescent, the lower part of the mirror-case and the connecting bar of the double discs are ornamented with double spirals having C-shaped connections. The round part of the mirror-case and the double discs are ornamented with a dot and a small concentric circle in the centre, surrounded by two other circles with a break in one place forming a pennanular ring. The middle part of the disc and double ring is ornamented with three concentric circles.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903.

Reference (1963)

A Class II stone set up beside the (Class I) stone NJ81NE 8.01 is carved in relief with a floriated cross and shaft and the crescent and V-rod, mirror case, triple disc and double disc and Z-rod symbols.

R W Feachem 1963.

Publication Account (1996)

The earlier of the two Pictish stones is the slab incised with a large beast which has a fine plume and muscles suggested by scrolls. Below the beast is a bold double disc and Z-rod, with simple infilling. The other slab bears a large, knot-filled cross with hollowed angles and scroll ends to the arms, all carved in low relief. Symbols flank the cross, as at Migvie (no. 60). These are a crescent and V-rod, a disc and rectangle, a triple disc (or cauldron) and a double disc and Z-rod. Although all the symbols have ornate infilling, their positioning on the stone is subservient to the basic Christian statement. The four smaller stones in the recess are early Medieval grave markers, some of which may be as early as the seventh century.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland’, (1996).


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