MHG47320 - Carved stone, panel fragment, Rosemarkie No 9 - Rosemarkie Church graveyard


Short carved panel decorated in relief featuring a tree of life framed by geometric motifs on the front face, with a groove on both side edges for fitting into a box-shaped monument/shrine. It was one of a collection of carved stones previously stored in the disused vestry/grave-diggers' store attached to Rosemarkie Church.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A sculptured panel bearing in low relief a stylised tree from which sprout four volutes. The tree is flanked by narrow bands and the remains of panels of key-pattern (Groam House 1992.5).

Rosemarkie 9, Ross & Cromarty, church furniture, panel fragment
Measurements: H 0.48m, W 0.53m, D 0.10m
Stone type: sandstone
Place of discovery: NH 7372 5763
Present location: Groam House Museum, Rosemarkie (ROMGH.1992.5)
Evidence for discovery: found in the churchyard at Rosemarkie in 1974.
Present condition: only the upper edge is intact, but the carving is in good condition.
One broad face of this fragment is carved in shallow relief, with a roll moulding along the top edge. A central panel contains a stiff and asymmetrical bush scroll, with two pairs of scrolls ending in a single circular ‘leaf’ and separated by a horizontal line of four pellets. At the top of the bush there are three branches each with three circular ‘leaves’. On either side of the bush scroll are vertical borders of step pattern, with the remains of panels of diagonal key pattern beyond. Although both faces B and D are broken, the surviving maximum width of face A at 0.53m may represent almost the original width, because on face C there are traces of a rebate close to each edge, some 0.05m wide and deep.
Date: eighth or ninth century.
References: Henderson 1983, 260-2; Seright & Henderson 2013, 8.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, A Ritchie 2017. <1>

This fragment was one of a collection of carved stones previously stored in the disused vestry/grave-diggers' store attached to Rosemarkie Church, and brought into Groam House Museum in 1982. The fragment is decorated in relief on one face only. The decoration consists of a stylised plant with two pairs of tightly coiled shoots ending in lobes, growing from a central stem. The stem ends in a triple arrangement of stylised fruits. It is flanked by two similar straight stems, both very worn. Four pellets, or detached fruits, lie between the pairs of coiled shoots. The plant is framed on the two vertical sides with an edging of simple key-pattern, beyond which, on both sides, is diagonally set key-pattern. The bottom border is gently curved so as to give an impression of a shallow mound. The lower moulding is plain and there are traces of what may be a similar moulding above the plant. It was roughly described by Urquhart (1935), and is illustrated in an article by Henderson (1983), where she cites Stuart Maxwell who in 1974 rediscovered "a whole series of relief slabs in the churchyard outbuildings". It is included in the RCAHMS survey of 1979. <2>

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

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 737 576 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH75NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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