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

Site Name Scoonie

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

Canmore ID 31328

Site Number NO30SE 15

NGR NO 3840 0167

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Scoonie (Kirkcaldy)
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Kirkcaldy
  • Former County Fife

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Scoonie (St Ethernan), Fife, ogham-inscribed cross-slab fragment

Measurements: H 1.07m, W 0.71m, D 0.10m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NO 3840 0167

Present location: National Museums Scotland (X.IB 110).

Evidence for discovery: found in Scoonie churchyard and taken to Leven church, until the Heritors agreed in 1868 that it should go to NMAS.

Present condition: although found in the churchyard, the slab has been trimmed for re-use and the cross-face is almost obliterated.


The surviving portion of this slab belongs to the left-hand side of face C and is carved in low relief and incision. The ogham inscription may be secondary to the other carving, for it is interrupted by one of the stag’s forelegs and by its snout, but it could easily be contemporary. It has been read as EDDARRNONN (Forsyth 1996, 480-94). At the top of the fragment is a Pictish beast facing left and below is a hunting scene facing right: three horseman and two hounds chase an antlered stag. In the bottom left corner is a deeply incised linear cross which appears to be later than the hunting scene.

Date: ninth century.

References: ECMS pt 3, 347, fig 360); Forsyth 1996; Fraser 2008, no 84.

Complied by A Ritchie 2016


Publication Account (1933)

Symbol Slab.

This stone was originally found in the old parish churchyard of Scoonie, about a quarter of a mile to the north of the Burgh of Leven, but is now preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh, having been gifted to the Society of Antiquaries by the Heritors and Kirk-Session of Scoonie in April 1866. It is an upright cross-slab of sandstone of nearly rectangular form, measuring 3 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 4 inches by 4 inches, and is sculptured on its two broad faces. On the obverse it bears the figure of the cross, of the Celtic form, hollowed into semicircles at the intersections of the arms with the shaft and summit. The cross, which extends the whole length of the stone, is ornamented with inter-laced work and fretwork, now partially defaced. The stone is broken at the top, and the upperpart of the figure of a beast with a scroll-like ending is broken away. On the reverse of the stone are figure-subjects and a symbolic subject. The upper part shows the symbolic beast with the long jaws and scroll-like feet. Below it is the chase of a stag, very spiritedly rendered. The wounded animal, with head thrown back, and a javelin sticking in its side, is followed by two dogs and three horsemen. Down the edge of the stone, and crossing the muzzle and the forefoot of the stag, is incised an inscription, the strokes or digits of which are arranged upon a stem-line. The characters, though rudely cut, are well marked, but not separated from each other by spaces, or divided into groups which might seem to represent words. Hence the reading is doubtful, though the marks are clear. There may be eight or ten characters, but with so small a number of letters, which are themselves indeterminable with certainty, it is manifestly impossible to extract an intelligible result from the inscription.


(1) Anderson's Scotland in Early Christian Times (2nd Ser.), pp. 201-2; Cf. also Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. vi, Pt. ii (1864-66), p. 401 and vol. xviii (1883-4) pp. 183-5; Early Christian Monuments, p. 347; Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland, ii, pl. 12.

Reference (1997)

Class II symbol stone.Cross with elephant and ogam inscription on reverse. Below is a hunting scene depicting three mounted figures and a stag.

A.Mack 1997

Desk Based Assessment

NO30SE 15 3840 0167.

This cross-slab found in the former churchyard of Scoonie (centred NO 3840 0169), is now in National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS accession no.IB 110); a sandstone slab (1.06 by 0.7m and 0.1m thick) it bore a cross one side, though it has almost disappeared, with on the reverse a hunting scene, 'beast' and ogam inscription reading 'EDDAR R NON N.'

Information from OS.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; RCAHMS 1933; 1985; J Stuart 1867


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