MHG7488 - Cup Marked Pictish Symbol Stone - Ardjachie Stone (original location)


A cup marked Pictish symbol stone called the Ardjachie Stone and is currently at Tain Museum.

Type and Period (2)

  • CUP MARKED STONE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • INSCRIBED STONE (Pictish - 300 AD to 900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH78SW 17 746 845.
Cup-marked Stone, Ardjachie: This boulder (1.7m by 0.65m by 0.35m), which was uncovered by the plough about 1960, is now in Tain Museum. One face bears about thirty irregular cup-shaped depressions and a symbol resembling a spoked wheel.
E Macnamara 1971; RCAHMS 1979.

NH 746 845, NH 744 848 and NH78SW 26 A programme of archaeological work was carried out, 7–10 September 2013, as part of the Northern Picts: Archaeology of Fortriu project. A geophysical survey was conducted, which aimed to contextualise the landscape location of the Pictish symbol stone (NH78SW 17), which was found at Ardjachie during ploughing in the 1960s. A total of 28 20 x 20m grids were surveyed using gradiometry and 9 grids using resitivity. The geophysical surveys showed few features with the exception of one round, c10m diameter, anomaly identified in the resistivity survey. A test pit suggested this was simply a variation in the subsoil.
Gordon Noble and Oskar G. Sveinbjarnarson, University of Aberdeen, 2013

Ardjachie Farm, Edderton, Ross & Cromarty, Pictish symbol stone
Measurements: H 1.79m, W 0.65m, D 0.35m
Stone type:
Place of discovery: NH 746 845
Present location: outside Tain Museum.
Evidence for discovery: uncovered during ploughing around 1960.
Present condition: broken and worn.
This irregular boulder was clearly chosen to be a symbol stone because it already bore a large number of prehistoric cupmarks. The incised symbols comprise a ‘wheel’-like disc with central hub and twelve spokes, carved above a plain L-shaped step symbol.
Date: seventh century.
References: DES 1971, 38-9; Fraser 2008, no 117.
Early Medieval Carved Stones Project, Compiled by A Ritchie 2017

This panel was recorded as part of the ScRAP (Scotland’s Rock Art project) by members of NoSAS in December 2019. The carvings are on a standing stone which includes 2 Pictish symbols. The stone was found in a field about 7 miles to the NW (at NH 74600 84500) and moved to its present position soon after it was found. It is now beside the SE wall of Tain museum. There is a wall to the south and east and the burial ground of the Collegiate Church and St Duthac's chapel is to the north. The street is to the east.

The standing stone is 0.65 x 0.35m and 1.5m high. The back of the stone is much wider at the base. There do not appear to be any cup marks or carvings on the back or sides of the stone. There was a little moss on the back of the stone but no lichen. The front (north face) of the stone had a little moss and a thick cover of fine lichen. The moss was removed and the lichen brushed but not removed before recording. There are at least 32 single cupmarks, some small ones and some larger ones on the front face. There is 1 clear rosette, and another possible rosette with some damage on the top 2 cups, on the top right part of the stone. On the left side of this face there are 3 grooves, one joining 2 cups and the other two each running down from a single cup. The rest of the cups appear to be randomly placed, although there is a cluster at the bottom of the stone. The 2 Pictish symbols are centrally placed on the stone nearer to the top than the bottom and consist of a 'wheel' symbol and an upside down L. The photogrammetry suggests there may be more shallow carving to the right of the upside down L, this may be more Pictish carving. The photogrammetry revealed more cups and details than were visible on the day of the visit and on previous drawings. <1>

See MHG33686 for current location

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 7460 8450 (10m by 10m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH78SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish TAIN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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