Dating Project – Saints and Class 2 Stones in Angus and Perth & Kinross

In this website there is reference to an association with a Saint providing s dating prospect. The current dating project builds on initial investigations.

The map below is from The Pictish Symbol Stones of Scotland Edited by Iain Fraser published by and courtesy of .RCAHMS. It has been marked up by this author with locations of Class 2 Stones which seem to have an association with a Saint.

Of the 46 locations of “Class 2” Pictish Symbol Stones, 22 are concentrated in the Angus and Perth & Kinross geographic area.

Six locations in that area have Saint Associations which, arguably, might lead to a dating prospect for the Stones. They are marked up on the map extract below from page 11 of The Pictish Symbol Stones of Scotland. Some of these locations, such as St Vigeans, have more than one Stone but for this investigation it is the geographic location rather than number of Stones that is the focus.

To progress the dating investigation, the author is seeking information or leads from Dundee, Forfar and Perth museums to see if there were monasteries, abbeys or other religious foundations whose setting up might have prompted the use of Class 2 Stones to facilitate the move in belief to Christianity. So far, the website List of monastic houses in Scotland is indicating a timeframe for monasteries beyond that usually associated with Class 2 Stones. Known establishments such as St Andrews is further south and Abernethy is in the south-west of the area – neither with Class 2 Stones but still to be investigated.

These are the author’s notes so far for the 6 locations in Angus and Perth & Kinross having Class 2 Stones with Saint associations:-

Alyth – if this Stone was carved in St Moluag’s lifetime or soon after then it dates to the late 6th / early 7th century.

Ballluderon – despite not being near a known belief location, the Stone is associated with St Martin – a well-known (and well documented) Saint who was Bishop of Tours in 371 CE.

Kingoldrum – relevance to St Medan is unclear (to the extent that there were male and female versions but in different time periods).

Monifieth – St Regulus was, a fourth century monk or bishop. If he had a direct influence in bringing Christianity to what now is Scotland, dating conflicts with St Ninian (b 360 – d 342) and St Columba (b 521 – d 597). It might be reasonable to assume that the association between the Saint and the Stone is one of dedication.

St Vigeans – St Vigean was St Feichin of Irish origin who died in 664. Religious use of the area continued with a monastery founded in the 8th century.

Tealing Although the church at Tealing was dedicated to St Peter, it was seemingly founded by St Boniface (672 to 754) in 710. He founded 150 churches in North East Scotland.

There is more detail here in a Synopsis and Evaluation by Stone for Class 2 Stones in Angus and Perth & Kinross.

As information becomes available this page will be updated.