Aberdeenshire HER - NJ72SW0001 - MAIDEN STONE

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ72SW0001
NRHE Card No.NJ72SW1
NRHE Numlink 18978
HES SM No. 90210
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Pictish symbol stone Class II. The stone is an upright cross-slab of red granite carved in relief. The south side is covered with interlacing and the north side with Stafford knots arranged in a double row. On the east face, four fabulous beasts fill the topmost of four panels. The largest creature is centaur-like, while the others are rather worn. Beneath this is a panel containing a notched rectangle and a Z-rod. Below this panel is another containing a beast, and in the irregular bottom panel is a mirror and comb. At the top of the west face a man stands, arms outstretched, between two fish monsters. Beneath this is a large ring-headed cross. Interlace that originally covered the cross has been chiselled off, as have the carvings on either side. At the bottom of this face, there is a roundel with, at the centre, four triple spirals and three double spirals. The surrounding ring contains key pattern and the corners of the panel are filled with knot-work. A trench was dug around the stone, according to the ONB, but no sepulchral remains were found. It was discovered, however, that the stone had probably been moved a few paces west from its original site sometime prior to 1866, probably when the road was built. A watching brief was carried out by Kirkdale Archaeology in July 2000 while a minor excavation was undertaken in advance of the positioning of a new fence strainer post. No finds or features of archaeological significance were revealed. Comparisons with photographs taken in the 1920s indicate that some carvings and inscriptions have been lost to erosion, and since 2006 the stone has been covered during winter months to protect it from further erosion pending a more permanent solution. Fragments of an ogham inscription have also been recorded on the stone. A watching brief was carried out by Kirkdale Archaeology in March 2014 during excavation of a shallow trench ahead of installation of a frost cover. A layer of protruding sub-angular boulders in a compact matrix of mid-brown silt was recorded then backfilled. A watching brief and survey was carried out by CFA Archaeology in September 2019 during hand excavation of a trench around the base of the stone, to remove the stones observed in 2014 to enable fitting of the cover. These stones were concluded not to be of archaeological significance. Six further stones uncovered against the north and west sides of the base of the Maiden Stone may have been packing stones from the 19th century relocation, and were left in situ.
Last Update17/01/2023
Updated Bybmann
Date of Compilation23/08/1990

Google Map for NJ72SW0001

National Grid Reference: NJ 7037 2471

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2000 Watching-Brief
2014 Watching-Brief kirkdale1-279203
2019 Watching-Brief cfaarcha1-371493

Excavations and Surveys

Artefact and Ecofact


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability