The Shandwick Stone

The Shandwick stone (or Clach a’ Charridh) is a Pictish cross slab (class II stone) from the village of Shandwick, Tarbat Ness, Easter Ross. It is situated above the village, with the cross facing out to sea. The stone is c8th century and is over 3m tall. The cross slab was split and repaired following a storm in 1846. Currently, the stone is housed in a glass box to prevent weathering, however this makes it difficult to photograph.

Shandwick stone, Easter Ross (Copyright © Iain Forbes 2011)

The cross side of the monument features a Celtic style cross with beast, angels and intertwining snakes.

 Shandwick stone, Easter Ross (Copyright © Iain Forbes 2011)

The opposite side of the stone is made up of six panels.

Shandwick stone, Easter Ross (Copyright © Iain Forbes 2011)

The bottom two panels of complex Celtic motifs have been partly obscured by the modern base. The panel above these contains a highly complex design made of intricate spirals. Above this, is the so-called ‘hunting scene’ – a bizarre mix of figures, some animal, some human and some fanciful.

'Hunting Panel' Shandwick Stone (Photo Copyright © Iain Forbes 2011)

The two panels at the top of the stone feature Pictish symbols. The top panel has a double disc symbol, and the one below the ‘Pictish beast’ symbol or ‘Picitsh Elephant’. Note the ‘trunk’ of the beast features a elephantine wrinkles.

The so-called 'Pictish beast' symbol on the Shandwick stone (photo Copyright © Iain Forbes 2011)

About iainforbespict

Author of book on the Picts

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Pictish History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Other than the cross, the facing side of the Shandwick Stone lacks visual symmetry. I wonder of the symbols placed there are intended to represent various tribes? Perhaps they are the ones which had come over to the Christian beliefs?

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