MHG39524 - Findspot of symbol stone at broch, south of Chapel Pool, Crosskirk


Believed to have been discovered at Crosskirk broch although recent reasearch indicats it could have been found at a broch nesr Sibster, Halkirk

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Pictish - 300 AD to 900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A rectangular symbol stone, 2ft 3ins high and 2ft 2ins wide, a facsimile of which is at Thurso Castle, is said to have been found at Crosskirk broch and to have been given to the King of Denmark by Sir George Sinclair.
<1> <2>

A sculptured stone, said to have been found in the broch (No.347) near the old Chapel of St Mary's, Lybster, in Reay is described and illustrated in the 'Sculptured Stones of Scotland', and in 'The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland'. It is of Caithness sandstone, rectangular in form 2' 3" in height by 2' 2" in width, and is sculptured on one face with incised lines, thus:- At the top, the crescent and V-shaped sceptre symbol, and below it the horse-shoe or arch symbol, both ornamented with curved lines. The stone is said to have been presented to the King of Denmark by Sir George Sinclair, the proprietor, but it has not been traced.
Visited by RCAHMS, 25th August 1910

Class I symbol stone (lost) showed a crescent and V-rod and a horseshoe. <3>

Crosskirk, Caithness, Pictish symbol stone
Measurements: more than H 0.69m, W 0.66m
Stone type: Old Red Sandstone
Place of discovery: ND 0248 7012
Present location: lost.
Evidence for discovery: found in the 19th century at Crosskirk broch, the stone was taken to Thurso Castle and later presented to the King of Denmark.
Present condition: unknown.
The stone as depicted by Stuart has either been trimmed or it was the cast which was drawn. On one face there were two incised symbols: the crescent and V-rod with traces of ornament within the crescent, and below the arch symbol.
Date: seventh century. <4>

Note; Research by David Henry of Pinkfoot Press indicates that the symbol stone, now lost, was perhaps incorrectly claimed to have been discovered at Crosskirk broch and was possibly discovered at the site of a broch near Sibster, Halkirk. During removal of this broch in 1841, a sculptured stone was found. The stone was removed by a gentleman residing at Thurso Castle.
Name Book 1872. <5>
See MHG39853 and link to Pictish Art Society newsletter no 73 p.10,11 for review of research talk. Published paper pending. (T.Blackie 22/11/23).

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 0248 7012 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND07SW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • SYMBOL STONE (Pictish - 300 AD to 900 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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