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Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Craigton

Classification Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Canmore ID 6524

Site Number NC80SE 2

NGR NC 8513 0093

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Golspie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Craigton , Sutherland, ‘Pictish’ symbol stone

Measurements: H 1.88m, W 0.66m, D 0.46m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NH 7993 9870

Present location: standing about 200m east of Dunrobin Castle.

Evidence for discovery: according to ECMS the stone ‘stood on the low ground’ at Craigton and was taken to Dunrobin Castle in 1840, but the earlier NSA records that it was ‘dug up’ near the site of the former parish church at Craigton and taken to the Castle in 1834.

Present condition:


This is a curious stone, a natural pillar which is incised with three apparently Pictish symbols: a notched rectangle, a crescent and V-rod and a flower symbol. There are odd features, however, for the very large crescent is upright, has a central handle like a shield and sits on top, rather than beneath, the V-rod. The terminals of the latter are unusual in form, and the flower symbol has just two, rather than three, flowers. Together with the uncertainties over its discovery, these oddities suggest that it must be considered uncertain whether the symbols are Pictish or whether they are an antiquarian forgery.

Date: uncertain.

References: NSA vol 15, 34; ECMS pt 3, 41; Fraser 2008, no 137.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NC80SE 2 8513 0093.

(NC 8513 0093) Symbol Stone (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964)

A Class I symbol stone, 6ft 2ins high, 2ft 4ins broad at base and about 1ft 3ins thick, bearing, on one face only, the 'crescent and V-rod', 'tuning-fork' and 'flower' symbols. It was dug up near the site of the former parish church (NH79NE 5) in, or shortly before, 1834, in which year it was standing a little to the east of Dunrobin Castle (NSA 1845) (Allen gives '1840').

New Statistical Account (NSA, written by Rev A MacPherson - 1834) 1845; J Anderson and J R Allen 1903.

A symbol stone as described, standing beside a walk in the wood.

Visited by OS (E G C) 4 April 1962.

As described by previous authorities.

Visited by OS (J M) 19 January 1976.

Medium grained, largely off-white but some reddish-brown mottling.

Found at 'Craigton' between Mound Station and Kirkton. NH 799 987 (NH79NE 5). Erected on a terrace east of Dunrobin Castle in 1840. (Acc No. 1840.1).

Information from R Jones 1980.

One Class I symbol stone - Craigton 1- showing a crescent and V-rod with a divided rectangle above and a flower below.

A Mack 1997.


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