Rock Art Database


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Canmore ID 14736 SCRAP ID 1776
Location OS Grid Ref: NH 78030 82127 Team Not in team
Existing Classifications
Classification Period
Date Fieldwork Started 12/12/2019 Date Fieldwork Completed
New Panel? No  


A1. Identifiers

Panel Name ARDJACHIE FARM Number
Other names
HER/SMR SM Number Other
Classifications And Periods
Classification 1 Cup Marked Stone Period 1 Neol/bronze Age
Classification 2 Pictish Symbol Stone Period 2 Pictish

A2. Grid Reference(original find site)

OS NGR NH 74600 84500
New OS NGR NH 78030 82127
Lat/Long 57.81206 -4.05452
Obtained By: Google Earth

A3. Current Location & Provenance

  • Moved from original location
  • In museum
  • Surface find
Museum/Collection Tain Museum
Accession no. Not given

Section B. CONTEXT

B1. Landscape Context

Weather Cloudy
Position in landscape Top of hill
Topography(terrain within about 500m of panel.)
Aspect of slope (if on sloping terrain e.g. S, SE etc.) N

B2. Current land use & vegetation

  • Urban/Garden

B3. Forestry

  • No selection

B4. Archaeological Features within 200m / or visible from the panel

  • No selection

B5. Location Notes

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 S and E and the burial ground of the Collegiate Church and St Duthac's chapel is to the N. The street is to the E.

Previous Notes

NH78SW 17 746 845. NH 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, 7ñ10 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. A DGPS survey was conducted on the peninsula to map features which had been identified by local society members. The features included midden layers (NH78SW 25) and other unrecorded structural remains of uncertain date. Pottery recovered from one of the middens has been provisionally identified as Beaker pottery and was found in association with a finely worked flint tool. Archive: University of Aberdeen Funder: University of Aberdeen, Development Trust, University of Aberdeen and Tarbat Discovery Centre Gordon Noble and Oskar G. Sveinbjarnarson, University of Aberdeen, 2013 (Source: DES)

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. Description 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 ëwheelí-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. Compiled by A Ritchie 2017

Section C. PANEL

C1. Panel Type

In the landscape Standing stone monument

C2. Panel Dimensions, Slope & Orientation

Dimensions of panel (m to one decimal place)
Length (longer axis) 0.6 Width 0.3
Height (max) 1.5 Height (min) 0
Approximate slope of carved surface
90 degrees 0 degrees
Orientation (Aspect e.g. NW)
Rock Surface N Carved Surface N Carved Surface

C3. Rock Surface

Surface Compactness No selection Grain Size Coarse Visible Anomalies Nodules
Rock Type Sandstone

C4. Surface Features

  • Fissures/cracks
  • Natural Hollows
  • Rough surface

C5. Panel Notes

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 (N 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.

C6. Probability

The probability that there is any rock art on the panel is Definite


No comments added


cupmark_1 cupmark_5 cupmark_6
14 2 1
Other carvings and motifs

Visible Tool Marks? No

Visible Peck Marks? No


D1. Access

  • There is and interpretation on site.

D2. Awareness

  • Panel was known before the project.
  • This panel is known to others in the local community.
There are stories or folk traditions associated with this panel No

D3. Risk

  • Large areas of the rock are covered in lichen, moss or algae.
  • The rock is located on/nearby a path or place where people might walk.
  • The rock is in an area with visitor facilities.
Comments and other potential threats

The stone is on display outside Tain museum and it is noticeable that the face with rock art and Pictish symbols is the least sheltered face and is thickly covered with lichen. The reverse face of the stone had no lichen but did have moss.