Thursday, 6 June 2013

Pictish Stones

Today we visited the Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum who display 26 pictish carved stones dating from the late eighth to the late tenth centuries. Making up one of the most important collections of early medieval sculpture in Western Europe, they are all that survives of a centre of Pictish wealth and patronage.

The Picts were a confederation of tribes who lived in eastern Scotland until around 850. They were converted to Christianity in the 6th and 7th century. The architectural fragments on display suggest that the Pictish church at Meigle was a sophisticated building. Meigle was an important center of power in early medieval Scotland. The villa, or royal estate, at Migdele (Meigle) is mentioned in the time of King Pherath (839–42), shortly before the Picts were united with the Scots under Kenneth mac Alpin.

Many of the carved stones may have been gravemarkers for members of the warrior élite. Some of them are portrayed on the stones with their weapons, or engaged in their favourite pastime of hunting.

Note the fish which it is thought to believe the connection to the underworld  at the top under that the serpent on the Z Rod under that the hand mirror and comb and towards the bottom left corner the lady riding side sadle.

It is thought by some that the figure in the middle may be the Greek God Kronos

We then drove to Craigievar Castle this fairytale castle, is a fine example of Scottish Baronial architecture, which seems to have grown naturally out of the rolling hills. The great tower stands just as it did when completed in 1626. The castle is home to a fine collection of family portraits and original plaster ceilings and 17th-and 18th-century furniture. Surrounding the castle are extensive parkland grounds. The castle stands just as it was when completed by Master William Forbes - 'Danzig Willie' - in 1626. The simplicity of its lower towers contrasts perfectly with the turrets, the cupolas and corbelling which embellish the roof line. 

The countryside around the castle is just so beautiful

We then drove to Insch where we found a pictish stone in a farmers field and we had to climb over our first style which will be one of many I am sure.

The Picardy Stone Entrance

Beneath the pictish symbol stone are the remains of a small symbol burial carin probably erected 1300 - 1500 years ago. 

After checking into our accommodation in Tarland the Commercial Hotel we went for a walk on the Drummy Woodland Walk and completed the 6km circuit.

It is just amazing to see the grass that is so lush and tall compared to the forests in  Australia.

Whilst walking around the circuit I was guided to walk off the path and found my first stone circle, the stones are low in the ground so are a little hard to see.

We then kept walking along the path and ended up being real explorers finding our way around the towns walking paths.

We came across the Tomnaverie Stone Circle on our walk. Recumbant stone circles are a type of monument that is peculiar to north east Scotland. Built about 2500BC. Seen from the center of the enclosure the two tall pillars command a view of Lochnager nearly 20 miles away and the full moon around midsummer .

PS from Kevin - Lee-Anne forgot to mention that the Meigle Museum had a centaur as found in the Harry Potter series for all the H.P. Fans!

No comments: