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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNO64SW0003
NRHE Card No.NO64SW347
NRHE Numlink 222812
HES LB No. 4775
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Former cottages now used as a museum, containing a large and important collection of sculptured stones. The stones had formerly been re-used within the church buildings or displayed within the nearby church (NO64SW0134). The stones were moved and restored in 1960 by the Ministry of Works. Twenty nine Early Christian sculptured stones can be found in the Museum, having been found in and around the church, six of Class II and twenty three of Class III. Many were found built into the fabric of the church, others during grave digging and other works. A number of stones remain in place in the church walls. The stones comprise: No.1: 'The Drosten Stone', a Class II upright cross-slab. It is so named from a Hiberno-Saxon inscription in miniscules at the bottom of one of the narrow sides, which dates it to the late 9th or early 10th Century AD. The front face of the slab bears a cross which occupies most of it. The cross is decorated all over with interlace or knotwork. In the top left-hand corner is a little winged angel or soul figure. On the left of the shaft, at the top, is an extended animal seen from above. At the bottom of this panel is a long-necked winged dragon whose tail is twisted through its rear legs. On the right of the shaft, at the top, is a probably winged beast with a long neck, below it a snarling creature with claws, then a beast with three sets of bristles or humps (possibly a dromedary), and at the bottom a pair of interlaced serpents. On the other side, at the top, is a hunt scene of two hounds in full pursuit of a stag, as well as a small animal and parts of others (behind the stag what may be a bird). Below this scene are the three symbols, the double-disc and Z-rod, the crescent, and on the right of the crescent the mirror and comb. The lower part of this side has a group of animals. At the bottom a cloaked Pictish archer aims a crossbow at a well-tusked boar. The cloak appears to be of stiff material. The narrow sides bear interlace and foliage. The interlace above the inscription is characteristically Pictish (see the cross-shaft), but the trailing vine-leaf on the other narrow side is not Pictish but is characteristic of Anglian or Northumbrian sculpture of the later 9th century AD. The inscription and the art style of this stone therefore agree to date it approximately to the period 850-900 AD. It is probably nearer 850 AD. This stone was recovered in two broken parts, which have been reunited but it is still incomplete. The inscription 'drosten/ipeupret/ettfor/cus' appears to be commemorative of the three persons named 'Drosten', 'Uoret' and 'Forcus'. These named are presumed to be Gaelic version of Pictish names. A further possible reading of this inscription is 'Drosten, in the time/reign of Uoret, and Forcus'. No.2: Cross-slab, top and back missing. The front face has a cross-shaft, the mirror symbol, the serpent and Z-rod, the bird or eagle. This stone is much worn, perhaps in some late re-use as a threshold. No.3: Part of a double disc and Z-rod. No.4: Fragment of top of an upright cross-slab. On one side is part of the cross. On the other side, a monk or priest. Behind him his pastoral staff or crosier and the double-disc symbol. No.5: Fragment of upright cross-slab sculptured on one face, lower part of a rectangular panel (bottom of a cross-shaft). Below it the double-disc and Z-rod. No.6: Fragment of upright cross-slab sculptured on two faces. On one side a panel of interlace, on the other a double-disc and part of the Z-rod. Upright cross-slab severely trimmed in some late re-use. On the front a long-shafted cross stands upon an oblong base. On the left of the shaft are 5 figures. On the right of the shaft is a pair of enthroned robed figures holding a circular object between them. Below them is a bull confronted by a naked kneeling man with rod or knife upraised to its throat. The other side of the slab was also richly sculptured. The head of another splendid cross can still be seen, and traces of sculpture beneath it on the left, but the surface has been damaged. The subject-matter of this magnificent memorial, which must have been 2.13m (7 feet) high or more, is of great interest although inexplicable still. No.8: Recumbent grave-stone, similar to the distinctive Meigle type, depicting a frieze of beasts. The top has a cross socket and a reworked central feature. No.9: High relief boss on the upper arm of a free-standing cross (there was another boss on the back). Decoration very much weathered. No.10: Upright cross-slab. In the centre of the front face is an interlaced cross. On either side of the head is a long-legged winged creature. On the back a crescent-shaped arch of interlace encloses a pair of figures, probably seated ecclesiastics. Suggestion of animal below the figures. No.11: Upright cross-slab. In the middle of the front face is a wheeled cross upon a base. On each side of the base is a robed and tonsured monk or priest. On the other side are two seated ecclesiastics. Between and above them was a smaller robed figure whose feet and garment can just be seen. Below them two hooded figures (perhaps laymen), each with a staff, confront one another. No.12: Lower part of upright cross-slab. In the centre of the front face is a cross upon an arched or hooped base, ornamented all over with interlace. It is very probable that stone No.24 is the top left-hand corner of this slab. No.13: Recumbent tombstone. On top, a rectangular recessed panel containing a wheeled cross, below it a circular medallion, a long-legged beast biting its tail, and another wheeled cross. Margin of interlace ending in beast-head. No.14: Recumbent tombstone. Undecorated recessed panel in the centre of the upper surface. The panel is surrounded by a wide raised margin with interlace and running spiral. There is a socket for a smaller upright cross at the head of the upper surface. On the side, at the right, there is an incised subject, a man between two fierce beasts. On the extreme right is a naked man upside down. On the left, parts of another incised scene with beasts. No.15: Free-standing cross with its expanded arms decorated with spiral and fretwork or key pattern: shaft restored. No.16: Incomplete pillar with a cross upon a rectangular base in the centre of one face. This pillar was square and is known to have had a similar cross on three sides. No.17: Upright cross-slab. On the front face is the lower part of the head of the cross. The cross-shaft is decorated with interlace and has had on either side of it an ecclesiastic holding a book. On the back, a typical Pictish horseman. No.18: Upright cross-slab. On the front face is the middle part of a cross-shaft. On each side a serpentine creature with its tail in its mouth. On the back, part of an enthroned figure holding a book in his left hand, his right points to the page (as on stone No.11). No.19: Fragment of upright cross-slab. On one face the top and left arms of a cross spanned by a cable moulding. There is a griffin contained in this angle. On the other side of the stone is a crouching stag. No.20: Fragment with two animals, that on right is beaked and clawed, probably a griffin. No.21: Fragment of upright cross-slab. On the front face there are parts of two arms of a cross with their connecting rings. On the other side of the stone is the head of a reined horse, and a single spiral above it. No.22: Lower part of a cross-slab. On the front face is the bottom of a cross-shaft. On the back a horseman armed with a spear (this fragment is now united with No.23). No.23: The middle part of an upright cross-slab bearing a cross. (This fragment is now united with No.22). No.24: Fragment of a cross-slab (probably No.12) with the top arm of a cross, on the right a scroll of foliage. On the back the top arm of another cross ornamented with interlace, upper part of a beast in a sunken panel on the left. No.25: Fragment depicting a man hanging to the neck of a horse. No.26: Fragment of an upright cross-slab with scroll work. No.27: Small semi-circular fragment with a single spiral. No.28: A small triangular fragment with the head of a man. No.29: Centre part of a recumbent hogback tombstone. It is of sandstone, and classified by Lang as of type A, dating to the late 10th-early 11th century AD. The sloping or coped top was fashioned as a tiled or slated roof with a ridge, of which two rows of tegulae survive from a curved roof pitch. The sides have been cut away and one end is broken. This stone was for long a step in the churchyard, later it lay upon the lintel of the doorway in the manse garden wall, from which situation it was moved to the museum. The ridge ends in a flattened beast-head in low relief. No.30: A1: Top corner of a cross-slab with plain cross on both sides (additional to J R Allen and J Anderson (1903)), A2: Fragment of cross-slab with interlace (additional to Allen and Anderson), A3: Fragment of cross-slab (additional to Allen and Anderson).
Last Update28/03/2022
Updated Bycpalmer
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National Grid Reference: NO 6383 4294

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