Rosemarkie: A Little Village Full Of Pictish Stones

Wherever you go, you can be sure that someone else was there hundreds or thousands of years before you. There are incredible ancient places hiding all around us. Let’s go find them!

Not a lot is known about the pesky Pictish people that occupied large parts of Northern and Eastern Scotland from the Late Iron Age to the Early medieval period. Their most well known legacy is a great number of carved stones that are now scattered across the country. The majority are found in Northern and Eastern parts of Scotland, including several on the islands of Orkney and Shetland, but archaeologists have also identified several scattered across the west as well as a handful in the south of Scotland.

Some of the most impressive examples of Pictish stones are housed at the Groam House Museum in the small village of Rosemarkie. The museum features one of the largest collections of Pictish stones in the country, including the impressive example shown above.

For those of you that know your Pictish standing stones, Rosemarkie’s symbol-bearing cross-slab is a Class II Pictish stone, meaning that it dates to the 8th-9th century AD, and decorated with a cross and other symbols, which can be either Christian or Pictish; in the case of Rosemarkie,

These stones at Rosemarkie are thought to be evidence for a major monastery that was associated with Saint Moluag, an Irish noble and missionary who is said to have evangelised the Picts in the sixth century.

The museum also houses a collection of Celtic art, as well as The George Bain collection. And if the collection really inspires your passion for all things Pict, you’d be in a great place to embark upon the Highland Pictish Trail!

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Harriet Tatton

Written by Harriet Tatton

Harriet is one of DigVentures' community archaeologists. She loves museums, skeletons, and a good cup of Early Grey. Her first dig was at Bennachie, in Aberdeenshire, and since then she's never gone digging without her signature flowery wellies.

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