Elgin Cathedral… and its Pictish Stone

Elgin Cathedral… and its Pictish Stone

Elgin Cathedral is in the care of Historic Scotland and more information can be found here –

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertyabout.htm?PropID=PL_133&PropName=Elgin%20Cathedral

The Cathedral has a long history, learn more here –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elgin_Cathedral

Elgin Cathedral Slideshow

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The Pictish Stone at Elgin Cathedral was put within the site in 1823 when it was discovered nearby beside St Giles Kirk in the High street. It is a magnificant cross slab and is adorned with the well known and loved Pictish symbols; double-disc and Z-rod, crescent and V-rod above a hunting scene on one side and a cross on the reverse.

Some historical detail can be found here –

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/16627/details/elgin+cathedral+pictish+cross+slab/

The Pictish Stone Slideshow

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Elgin Cathedral is open all year round with a few differences to the timetable in winter. It is well worth a visit and there are numerous other historic sites in the area to make it a day to remember.

 

The Clava Cairns… A 4500 year old graveyard

Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

The Clava Cairns are a surreal and haunting place to visit, walking into the graves at Balnuaran of Clava gives you a feeling of peace, serenity and foreboding, especially if you visit in the dead of winter when we did. It also has that spiritual feeling, that feeling you get when you know you’ve arrived at a special place.

Balnuaran of Clava or commonaly known as the Clava Cairns can be found a mile or so south of the Culloden battlefield and is often missed by the many who visit the battlefield. A pity really because it is a treat indeed and a place to rest and contemplate the bloody slaughter which you just realised had happened at Culloden field a wee bit up the road. You can imagine the Injured and dying soldiers who escaped the “bayoneting of the wounded” reaching Clava and deciding to rest there and wait for the end to come in the peaceful surroundings of the revered ancient stones.

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When you reach the cairn at the south east end of the area, i was saddened to see that many years ago the road builders had obviously cut a new road right through the very corner of the site and had put the road between a few standing stones and the cairn itself. Fortunately it wasn’t distroyed, but a few standing stones were moved slightly out of alignment to protect them from further damage, see the picture below.

Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

You can find Balnuaran of Clava here –

https://www.google.co.uk/maps?z=12&q=57.47270000000,-4.07447500000&ll=57.47270000000,-4.07447500000

The site is in the care of Historic Scotland –

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertydetail.htm?PropID=PL_067

You will find more detailed historical information in the link below –

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/14279/details/balnuaran+of+clava+south+west/

Finally, there are many stories and tales of Balnuaran of Clava with the many added superstitions, Locals will tell not to visit at night-time. Even a Belgian tourist who stole a stone from Clava was convinced he had suffered the Curse of Clava.. he eventually returned a stone he stole… you can read his story here –

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/belgian-s-belated-bid-to-bury-the-ancient-curse-of-clava-1.254620

Sueno’s Stone, A giant stone carving

Sueno's Stone,

Sueno’s Stone

Sueno’s Stone is not only the giant of stone carving in Scotland, but is also a superb survivor. It sits in its large glass house like a monument to the Scots and Picts as it dates from around the time when both cultures were clashing and merging into the new country of Alba.

Sitting proudly at 6.5 metres (21 feet) high, it can be found on the edge of Forres in Moray in the north east of Scotland, about 22 miles east from the battlefield of Culloden. The road sign posts take you down a residential area until you reach a dead end and the Stones resting place.

The Stone appears on Timothy Pont’s Mapp of Murray (c 1590), the military maps of Roy 1750 and Ainslie 1789 and Robert Campbell’s map of 1790. These maps all show that there was another stone beside it, but has since disappeared.

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How to get there –

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/57%C2%B036%2756.7%22N+3%C2%B035%2751.8%22W/@57.61575,-3.5977333,12z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

There is much information available on the Sueno’s Stone and well worth a read before you visit it, some of which is detailed below —

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/15785/details/forres+sueno+s+stone/

http://www.pictishstones.org.uk/pictishstones/pictishstoneshome/aboutthepicts/carvedstones/3dscans/suenos_stone.htm

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=7249

The stone’s fame has even made its way into the world of Scottish country dancing with the dance known as Sueno’s Stone. http://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/video/suenos-stone.html