Sculptured stone

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Found at South Ronaldsay, Orkney

Postcard of Sculptured stone.
© National Museums Scotland

Sculptured stone

This sculptured stone with Pictish symbols was built as a window sill into St Peter's Church at South Ronaldsay on Orkney until about 1852. There are symbols on both sides and the stone has been used twice. It was carved between 500 and 800.

This side has a crescent and V-rod, both filled with curvilinear patterns. Above is a rectangular symbol, possibly representing a book satchel.

Monumental stones and some portable objects were decorated by the Picts with a range of unusual symbols, some of everyday objects and others more abstract. Many theories have been proposed to explain their meanings which nevertheless remain obscure.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-436-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IB 2
Date: 7th or 8th century
Between 500 and 800
Material: Stone; sculptured both sides with incised figure of crescent
Dimensions: 1660 mm H x 120 mm L x 500 mm W
What: Symbol stone
Where: Scotland, Orkney, South Ronaldsay, St Peter's Church
Description: Pictish symbol stone sculptured on both sides with incised figure of a crescent, from South Ronaldsay, 7th or 8th century
  • Close-Brooks, J. & Stevenson, R.B.K. Dark Age Sculpture. Edinburgh: HMSO, 1982 
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