MHG4814 - Symbol Stone - Tobar Na Maor, Dun Osdale


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

For Dun Osdale, broch see NG24NW0004
JHooper, 27/11/2001

NG24NW 3 2408 4648.

A stone, which partly covered the well, Tobar na Maor, beside Dun Osdale until 1910, is now preserved at Dunvegan Castle; although weathered, it bears a crescent and V-rod and a pair of concentric circles. See also NG24NW 7.1.
F T Macleod 1912; RCAHMS 1928; 1985; R B K Stevenson 1961; A Ross 1961.

The stone is much weathered and measures 0.43 x 0.94m; but the traces of the crescent and V-rod and one pair of concentric circles can be seen. Information from R Jones 1980.

Class I symbol stone bearing a crescent and V-rod over a disc.
A.Mack 1997 p.112

This symbol-stone was removed to Dunvegan Castle about 1910, and is now displayed in the vaulted basement room of the old tower. It formerly lay on or close to the well known as Tobar na Maor ('well of the steward'), on the N side of the road from Dunvegan to Glendale and 80m NW of the broch of Dun Osdale.
The slab is of fine-grained stone, measuring 0.94m by 0.39m and 0.29m thick. The upper edge is rounded and the lower part tapers obliquely. The surface is much worn and is flaked at the top and left edge. It is also defaced by modern initials, and a modern incision runs up the left groove of the V-rod. At the top, filling the width of the slab, there is a crescent-and-V-rod symbol lacking the right terminal of the rod. The crescent is of 'dome-and-wing' type, with four subsidiary arches along the lower edge. There is no surviving ornament in the angle of the V-rod, but two spirals are preserved at its left terminal. The angle of the V-rod touches the apex of the outermost of three concentric circles. The outer two, 0.27m and 0.16m in diameter, form a band 50mm wide which encloses the central 55mm circle. Touching the outer circle at the left there is a lightly pecked and slightly sunk 75mm circle and on the same axis to the right there are traces of another, forming the triple-disc symbol. Lower to the right there are two faint concentric circles, 100mm over all, which may have been part of a mirror symbol. <1>

Tobar na Maor, Skye & Lochalsh, Pictish symbol stone
Measurements: H 0.94m, W 0.39m, D 0.29m
Stone type:
Place of discovery: NG 2408 4648
Present location: at Dunvegan Castle in the basement of the tower.
Evidence for discovery: until 1910 the slab was in use as a cover slab for the well known as Tobar na Maor, near the broch of Dun Osdale. It was taken to the courtyard of Dunvegan Castle and subsequently into the tower.
Present condition: very weathered and some flaking of the edges.
One broad face of this stone is incised with two Pictish symbols, which formerly spanned the width of the stone. An ornamented crescent and V-rod is carved above a triple disc symbol.
Date range: seventh century.
Primary references: Macleod 1912, 211; Fisher 2001, 104-5; Fraser 2008, no 134.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Sources/Archives (12)



Grid reference Centred NG 2407 4648 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG24NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish DUIRINISH

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