MHG25215 - Carved fragment, Rosemarkie No.4 - Rosemarkie Church graveyard


Carved fragment sculpted in relief on one face only with the remains of a figural scene. Traces of the lower part of two figures survive, one with a staff or spear. Discovered in the churchyard and presented to the NMS in 1885.

Type and Period (1)

  • CARVED STONE (Pictish to Early Medieval - 300 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

No. 4. A fragment of a Class 3 sculptured stone 0.36m x 0.32m by 0.08m, found in Rosemarkie churchyard. One face is pitted suggesting the presence of a form of interlacing, now weathered away. The other face bears the remains of a pair of figures, one in decorated robes, the other holding a staff. Only the lower regions remain. Donated to the RMS(NMAS) by Major C Mackenzie in 1855 ( IB 119).
Information from R Jones to RCAHMS, 1980.

Rosemarkie 4, Ross & Cromarty, possible cross-slab fragment
Measurements: H 0.34m, W 0.37m, D 0.08m
Stone type: sandstone
Place of discovery: NH 7372 5763
Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (IB 119), on loan to Groam House Museum.
Evidence for discovery: found in the churchyard at Rosemarkie and given to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in 1885.
Present condition: very worn and all edges are broken
This fragment is carved in shallow relief on one broad face with the remains of a figural scene, and it may have been part of a cross-slab or a panel. Traces of the lower part of two figures survive, both walking to the left and evidently depicted in profile. One is wearing an elaborately decorated ankle-length garment, possibly pleated, with a border of key pattern. Behind this figure is another in a slightly shorter, apparently plain, tunic, who is carrying a staff or spear.
Date: eighth or ninth century.
References: ECMS pt 3, 87-8; Henderson 1990, [16-17]; Seright & Henderson 2013, 10.
Early Medieval Carved Stone Project, A Ritchie 2017. <1>

This fragment is thought to have been discovered while digging a grave in Rosemarkie churchyard. It was presented to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland by Major Colin Mackenzie, F.S.A., of Flowerburn, Rosemarkie in 1885. The fragment is carved in relief on one face only. It shows the lower portion of two figures, presumably men, processing to the left. The figure on the right is worn. He wears a mid-calf garment with a plain border at the bottom hem. He carries a staff, or possibly a spear, in front of him. The leading figure is larger in scale. He has a longer, more elaborate garment with vertical parallel lines on the skirt and a border on the hem decorated with key-pattern. When complete this figure would have been about 380 mm high. Figures, either military or ecclesiastical, processing in profile to the left, are common in Pictish sculpture. <2>

Note; Precise find spot not known so indicative find area only (T.Blackie 3/3/2021).

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 7373 5759 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH75NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (1)

  • CARVED OBJECT (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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