Mearns Ladies Probus discuss Pictish heritage

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‘Our Pictish Heritage’ was the subject of a talk given to Mearns Ladies Probus Club at their meeting in the Community Centre, Laurencekirk.

President, Mrs Mavis Cowie, welcomed 23 members to the meeting on Wednesday, April 16.

She introduced speaker Mr John Borland who informed members that he was a measured survey manager for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). This body will soon be merging with Historic Scotland.

Mr Borland’s job is to make accurate scaled drawings of sculptures to get a true size of the stones.

Scotland has the richest collection of stone sculptures in Europe owingto the natives traditionally sculpting slabs and incomers settling.

Mr Borland gave a most interesting slideshow depicting several examples of stones across the North East of Scotland.

Aberdeenshire has 121 stones, a small number of which are Pictish.

Angus has 132 and Kincardineshire has 13 distributed across seven sites ranging from coast to inland.

One notable example is the Fordoun Stone, a slab of old red sandstone bearing a celtic cross with interlaced knot work, a hunting scene and a double disc and z-rod design.

This is presently located at Auchenblae Church.

Many other fine examples have been found on the Cairn O’Mount, Castle Fiddes and North Water Bridge.

Mr Borland indicated that stones are still being found, unknowingly excavated by farmers whilst ploughing fields and rewards are given for these finds.

Questions followed and Ann Rennie proposed the vote of thanks.