MHG5141 - Pictish symbol stone - Clach Ard, Peinmore


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Type and Period (1)

  • INSCRIBED STONE (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NG44NW 1 4210 4908.

(NG 4210 4908) Clach Ard (NAT) Clach Ard (NR)
OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904); OS 1"map, 7th Series.

Clach Ard occupies a precarious position near the edge of a gravel pit and faces South. An irregular five-sided prism, it measures 4ft 5ins in height and 1ft 7ins across its S aspect. On this face three symbols are incised, the crescent and broken rod with floriated ends occupying the top, the spectacle ornament and zig-zag rod with ends also floriated placed longitudinally on the stone below it, and the mirror and comb symbol near the base. The symbols, with the exception of the mirror and comb, are fairly distinct, but the ornamentation of the discs of the spectacle ornament and crescent is nearly obliterated. It seems to have consisted of small circles with a round dot in the centre (RCAHMS 1928). Shown on distribution map and dated to 6-7th century by Curle (1940), but see Radford (1942) and Stevenson (1955) who criticize this paper. Stevenson is inclined to date these stones slightly later, i.e. 7-8th century.
RCAHMS 1928; C L Curle 1940; C R Radford 1942; R B K Stevenson 1955.

Clach Ard: Pictish symbol stone as described by RCAHMS. Until about 1880 Clach Ard was incorporated into a door jamb, or such like feature, of a shoemaker's house in Tote, and was associated with a legend that it could never be kept in the house. About 1880 it was recognised as a symbol stone and erected at its present site. (Information from Mr Gillies, Tote, Skeabost)
Visited by OS (C F W) 11 April 1961.

Until 1880, this stone was used in a door-jamb of a house in Tote, where it was recognised as a symbol stone and removed to its present site near a gravel pit. Measuring 1.3m x 0.48m, it bears the crescent and V-rod, double disc and 2-rod and the mirror and comb symbols. Much of the incised decoration is much deteriorated.
Information from R Jones 1980.

Class I symbol stone showing a crescent and V-rod over a double-disc and Z-rod with a mirror-and-comb at the foot of the stone.
A.Mack 1997p.114

The symbol stone was included in I.Fisher's 2001 'Early Medieval sculpture in the West Highlands and Islands'. An extract of this can be seen on HES Canmore's equivalent record. See link below. <1>

Clach Ard, Tote, Skye & Lochalsh, Pictish symbol stone
Measurements: H 1.41m above its base, W 0.53m, D 0.40m
Stone type: basalt
Place of discovery: NG 4210 4908
Present location: standing 9m north of the road at Tote.
Evidence for discovery: found re-used as a door jamb in a cottage at Tote in 1880 and set up in a stone base on a ridge above the township.
Present condition: broken and worn with edge damage.
This rectangular slab has been trimmed at the base for re-use as a door jamb. One broad face is incised with Pictish symbols set one above the other: a crescent and V-rod, a double disc and Z-rod set vertically and a mirror and comb.
Date range: seventh century.
Primary references: RCAHMS 1928, no 640; Fisher 2001, 105; Fraser 2008, no 131.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Sources/Archives (15)



Grid reference Centred NG 4210 4908 (6m by 6m)
Map sheet NG44NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish SNIZORT

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