Pictish Stone with Eagle and Salmon
Gairloch Museum

This Pictish Stone is made of local Torridonian sandstone and was probably carved between AD 500 and 700. It was found around 1870, possibly in a cist burial, and moved to several different places in Gairloch before it came to the Museum. It was previously used as a doorstep at Flowerdale House and as part of the local graveyard wall.  

The Picts mainly lived in northern and eastern Scotland during the late Iron Age and early Medieval periods. We know about them because they left behind unusual artworks and symbol stones covered in mysterious designs. While hundreds of Pictish symbol stones have been discovered in eastern Scotland, only two have ever been found on the west coast mainland – one in Gairloch and the other in Poolewe. This could suggest that some Picts lived locally.  

The pairs of symbols on Pictish stones are thought to represent the names and commemorate the deaths of important Picts. The eagle above a salmon on this stone possibly signifies ‘in memory of Dunodnat, son of Nechtan’. Dunodnat was probably an important Pict, closely related to the king.  

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Date: 700 AD
Materials : Sandstone
Size : 98cm x 72cm x 14cm

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