Pictavia -The land of the Picts
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Did you know?

In Pictish times, wild boar and wolves were common in Scotland, and boar were hunted for food and skins.

Angus Pictish Trail Guide


Pictavia is only the start of your journey through Angus' Pictish past - why not download the Pictish Trail Guide below, and use it to explore other Pictish sites in the area?


Download the Pictish Trail Leaflet

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The Pictish Trail

Download Pictish Trail Leaflet (PDF, 1.2MB)

Acrobat Reader is required to view the above PDF document. It can be downloaded from the Acrobat site if you don't have it.

Pictish Trail Map updated version june 2010

  1. Pictavia
  2. Brechin Cathedral
  3. Aberlemno Sculptured Stones
  4. Montrose Museum
  5. St. Vigeans Museum
  6. Dundee Museum
  7. Meigle Museum
  8. Eassie Church
  9. Kirriemuir Gateway
  10. St. Orland's Stone
  11. Glamis Manse
  12. The Meffan






    1. Pictavia

    Discover Scotland's ancient past and the legacy of the enigmatic Picts at Pictavia Visitor Centre, through a range of interactive exhibits, replicas and original artefacts. Listen to Pictish music in the Tower of Sound, explore the secrets of the symbols with touch-screen computers, and re-live in the sights and sounds of the Battle of Dunnichen.

    Map ref: NO582601
    Directions: Follow the signs from the A90 near Brechin.
    Open: 9am - 5pm Monday - Saturday; 10am - 5pm Sundays
    Admisson: Adults - £3.25, Children/Concessions - £2.25, Under Fives - Free of charge, Family ticket - £10. Group rates are also available.
    Tel: 01356 626 241

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    2. Brechin Cathedral

    Noted for its Irish-style Round Tower. Dating to the late 11th or early 12th century, Brechin Cathedral has a collection of four sculptured stones of the period, the earliest being a mere fragment of a cross-slab. There is also an early 11th century hogback, and a fine early Scottish cross-slab from nearby Aldbar. The front has a decorated Celtic cross while the back includes seated clerics, David rending the jaws of a young lion, surrounded by his emblems of harp, staff and sheep.

    Map ref: NO596601
    Directions: Sign-posted from Brechin town centre, at Bishops Close.
    Open: Daily, 9am - 5pm
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01356 629360

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    3. Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

    There are three roadside stones, two of which bear only early Pictish symbols. The third stone is a Pictish Cross-slab with a ring cross on the front and a particularly good hunting scene on the back. Above are the Crescent and V-rod and double-disc symbols and below a Centaur and David and his emblems. The Cross-slab in the Kirkyard stands on the west side of the church. The front has an impressive quadrilobate cross and the beautiful decoration is heavily influenced by Northumbrian art of the late 7th/early 8th centuries. The reverse has a magnificent battle scene which is thought to portray the battle of Dun Nechtan or Nectansmere of 685 AD when Brude MacDerile defeated the Northumbrian King Ecfrith and his army. The slab ably depicts Pictish and Northumbrian cavalry, Pictish infantry and a dying Northumbrian being pecked by a Raven.

    Map ref: NO522558
    Directions: On the B9134 Forfar - Brechin road.
    Open: April - October. The stones are boxed during winter.
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 0131 668 8600 (Historic Scotland)

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    4. Montrose Museum

    Two stones are on display, which are originally from the old Kirkyard of Inchbrayock. No. 1 has a fine Celtic Cross on the front and a Samson and Delilah scene, with a hunting scene and Samson slaying a Philistine on the reverse. Often known as the "Samson Stone", this and the other fragment with its two Eaglemen date to the late 9th or 10th centuries.

    Map ref: NO77577
    Directions: Panmure Place - east of town centre, in easy walking distance.
    Open: Currently closed for refurbishment - due to re-open in late summer 2010.
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01674 673232

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    5. St. Vigeans Museum

    St. Vigeans is the Latin form of St. Fechin, an Irish churchman who died in 664 AD. No fewer than 34 carved stones from the Early Christian period have been found in St. Vigeans Churchyard, ranging in date from the 7th to the 11th centuries. Perhaps the earliest is a simple cross which lies at the side door of the church, while some 31 are displayed in the converted cottage. Six of the stones bear Pictish symbols, the most complete of which also has the famous inscription in Hiberno-Saxon text "Drosten ire vor et ett forcus" and is widely known as the "Drosten" stone. The stone dates to the mid 9th century and may be the memorial stone of the Pictish King Uuroid Mac. Most of the other stones are of the early Scottish type with one Norse hogback.

    Map ref: NO638429
    Directions: On the A933 Arbroath to Friockheim road. St. Vigeans is signposted 2km from Arbroath town centre
    Open: For opening hours please telephone 01241 433739 or see www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
    Admission:  Adults - £3.70, Children - £2.20, Concessions - £3.00
    Tel: 01316 688600 (Historic Scotland)

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    6. Dundee Museum

    Displayed in the museum are a number of stones from Angus, including the fine symbol stones from Aberlemno and Strathmartine. Part of a cross slab from Tealing, a recumbent from Strathmartine and a late cross slab from Benvie are also on view.

    Map ref: NO403306
    Directions: Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DA
    Open: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday 12.30pm - 4.30pm
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01382 307200

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    7. Meigle Museum

    Over 30 sculptured stones have been discovered at Meigle, all in or by the Parish Church of St. Peter. Like St. Vigeans, this collection is simply unmissable and has a range of sculpture from the 8th to the 11th centuries. The standard of carving on no. 2 is simply superb and contains the wonderful Daniel in the Lions Den scene.
    The lions are perhaps the best portrayed of their kind in early mediaeval art in Europe. Like St. Vigeans there are also fine examples of the Norse-inspired hogbacks.

    Map ref: NO287445
    Directions: In Meigle Village, adjacent to the Parish Church
    Open: For opening hours, telephone 01828 640612 or see www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
    Admission: Adults - £3.20, Children - £1.90, Concessions - £2.70
    Tel: 01828 640612 (Historic Scotland)

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    8. Eassie Church

    This fine Pictish Cross-slab is now behind a glass screen within the ruins of the old church. The richly decorated cross is flanked by a hunter with this two hunting dogs and their prey, a magnificent Red Deer Stag. The reverse has Pictish 'beast' and 'double disc and X-rod' symbols and three scenes. At the top is a temptation scene with Adam and an apple tree, in the middle are three robed men in procession and at the bottom are three cattle.

    Map ref: NO353474
    Directions: Access to the church is by means of the sign-posted farm road leading off the A94 Forfar - Coupar Angus road
    Open: All year
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 0131 668 8600 (Historic Scotland)

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    9. Kirriemuir: Gateway to the Glens Museum

    Although most of the Pictish and Early Scottish Sculptured Stones discovered at Kirriemuir are now on display in the Meffan Museum in Forfar, the most recent discovery - Number 18 - is on display here. The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary, probably dates to the early 9th century, and the oval shape of the kirkyard is still well preserved, virtually adjacent to the museum.

    Map ref: NO386539
    Directions: High Street, Kirriemuir
    Open: All year, Monday - Wednesday and Friday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Thursday, 1pm - 5pm
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01575 575479

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    10. St. Orland's Stone

    Known as St. Orland's Stone, this beautiful Pictish Cross-slab probably marks the site of an ancient chapel., burials having been found here during the 19th century. Faced by an intricately decorated ring-cross, the back of the slab bears the familiar Crescent and V-rod and double-disc and Z-rod symbols above a hunting scene and a unique Pictish depiction of a boat.

    Map ref: NO401500
    Directions: Reached by taking the Cossans farm road, east off the A928 Glamis - Kirriemuir road
    Open: All year
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 0131 668 8600 (Historic Scotland)

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    11. Glamis Manse

    A magnificent Pictish Cross-slab with a highly decorated cross. Flanking the shaft are representations of cauldrons, one with human legs projecting from it and two fighting warriors. The reverse has incised symbols of the adder, salmon and mirror. Four other fragments may be seen in Glamis Church, the largest being the remains of a cross-slab with part of the shaft flanked with human and animal figures. A smaller cross-slab fragment bears part of an interlaced cross-shaft, and another fragment has the "concertina symbol" inscribed.

    Map ref: NO385468
    Directions: Stands in the Manse garden adjacent to the village church
    Open: All year
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01307 840206

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    12. The Meffan

    The Meffan is a Museum and exhibition centre which houses a fine collection of stones, mainly from Kirriemuir. Five cross-slabs, originally discovered in 1797 are on display as well as a further 12 fragments excavated in 1995.
    Cross slabs from Kirkbuddo and Wester Denoon are also on display, the latter of which portrays a woman complete with mirror and comb symbols and a fine pennanular brooch. Pride of place, however, is reserved for the Dunnichen Symbol Stone, discovered in 1805 nearby the village of Dunnichen.

    Map ref: NO455506
    Directions: West High Street, Forfar, in town centre, parking nearby at Myre Car Park is free
    Open: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Closed 25 - 26 Dec and 1 - 2 Jan
    Admission: Free
    Tel: 01307 464123

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