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Record details

Type of record:Monument
Name:Nigg Pictish Cross-slab


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Colour photograph  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 1203 KB)
Grid Reference:NH 8043 7170
Map Sheet:NH87SW
Civil Parish:NIGG
Geographical Area:ROSS AND CROMARTY

Monument Types

  • CROSS SLAB (Pictish to Early Medieval - 300 AD to 1057 AD)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1680: Nigg Church, Pictish symbol-bearing cross-slab

Other References/Statuses

  • Historic Environment Record: MHG7496
  • NMRS NUMLINK Reference: 15280
  • NMRS Record Details: NH87SW1 NIGG
  • Old SMR Reference Number: NH87SW0001

Full description

The stone has been re-erected in the church, with the floor lowered to accommodate it. The two pieces have been joined by modern infill. The newly discovered piece (which forms only part of the linking section between the above) is held in Tain Museum. The stone is decorated on both faces - one crossed based, the other with scenes of hunting, music and David scenes. There is decoration down one edge only. The lowest edge of the stone is probably still missing. The non cross side has been (deliberately?) damaged, probably while attemping to break it up - HAW 8/2004

Scheduled area decreased to cover just the stone itself HAW 3/2004

This magnificent Class 2 sculptured stone is intricately carved in relief. The style echoes that of the the sculptured crosses on Iona, the Book of Kells, and illustrated manuscripts of Lindisfarne in Northumbria and Durrow in Ireland. It seems always to have stood in the churchyard at Nigg. In 1727 it was blown down in a storm but was soon re-erected against E gable of the church. It was then broken while being moved to give access to a burial vault and re-erected upside down. Later it was moved again to an open-sided porch at W end of the church, from where it was taken inside the church some years ago.

A fragment of the Nigg stone was found in 1998 by a group visiting the site in the burn alongside the church. This has been claimed for the Crown under Treasure Trove and its future is still undecided
John Wood 18/8/99.
NH87SW 1 8046 7171 moved to 8049 7170.
(NH 8046 7171) Standing Stone (NR) (Sculptured)
OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

This sculptured stone has always stood in churchyard at Nigg. Repaired at Allen's instigation it now stands on a modern base at W end of church immediately outside vestry. The stone is an upright, rectangular cross slab with a pedimented top, 7ft 3ins high by 3ft 5ins wide, sculptured in relief on front, back and right side.
J R Allen and J Anderson 1903.

A sculptured cross slab as illustrated. It is preserved under an open-sided porch at NE end of church.
Visited by OS (A A) 25 September 1972.

(NH 8046 7171) Cross Slab (NR) OS 25" map, (1974)

This cross slab has been removed from its previous position and is now preserved in Nigg Old Parish Church at SW end. (NH 8049 7170) Visited by OS (JB) 26 February 1981.

Class II symbol stone : on face is a cross with a scene depicting SS.Anthony and Paul and raven.On reverse is an eagle above the remains of an elephant with a hunting scene showing a hound and a deer and one mounted figure and one standing. Above are an illustration of David with the lion and sheep.
A.Mack 1997 p.117

A series of drawings of early medieval carved stones was created, forming a ?visual index? For deposition in NMRS, with supporting material, of:NH 804 717 Old Nigg Church (Nigg parish)
Sponsor: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
I G Scott 1997

Awaiting DES entry 98/081.

Stuart, J, 1856, Sculptured stones of Scotland, 11; pls. 28, 29 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG350.

Allen and Anderson, J R and J, 1903, The early Christian monuments of Scotland: a classified illustrated descriptive list of the monuments with an analysis of their symbolism and ornamentation, pt. 3, 75-83; illusts. (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG1883.

Mowbray, C, 1936, 'Eastern influence on carvings at St Andrews and Nigg, Scotland', Antiquity Vol. 10 1936, p.428-40, 428-40 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG711.

Curle, C L, 1940, 'The chronology of the early christian monuments of Scotland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 74 1939-40, p.60-117, 98, 100-1 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1637.

Radford, C A R, 1942, 'The early christian monuments of Scotland', Antiquity Vol. 16 1942, p.1-18, 11 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1653.

RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, 27, No. 231 (Text/Report). SHG2670.

Jackson, A, 1984, The symbol stones of Scotland: a social anthropological resolution to the problem of the Picts (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2357.

Ritchie, J N G, 1985, Pictish symbol stones: a handlist 1985, 12 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2712.

Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 127, No. 62 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

Henderson, I, 1986, The 'David Cycle' in Pictish art, Brit Archaeol Rep Vol. 152, 88, 92, 102, 103, 104, 110-11 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3135.

Alcock, E A, 1991, 'Pictish stones class I: where and how?', Glasgow Archaeol J Vol. 15 1988-89, p.1-21, 19 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1348.

Mack, A, 1997, Field guide to the Pictish symbol stones, 117 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2456.

Scott, I G, 1997, 'Visual Index of early medieval carved stones', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1997, p.43, 43 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1805.

Related Monument/Building records - none

Related Investigations - none

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