Monastic Houses in Scotland – Assessing their Influence in Dating “Transition”

The prospect of “Monastic House” locations having a relevance in Dating Class 2 Stones and “Transition” was explored in the Initial Focus (on Angus and Perth & Kinross).

Using information from the List of Monastic Houses in Scotland website, this aspect of the investigation was expanded across Scotland.

Identifying any proximity to a Class 2 Stone could make a connection with the Transition Timeframe. Locations are in the map below.

This map can be expanded and downloaded from Class 2 Stones and Nearby Monastic Houses.

The Monastic House information is from two Wikipedia sites – a  catalogue of the abbeys, priories, friaries and other monastic religious houses of Scotland and an associated map. They are listed by county/region – List of monastic houses in Scotland and this WikiMap.

For assessing the likelihood of the relevance of Monastic House information in the context of Transition Timeframe, three criteria are considered for each establishment’s location:-

1) any Class 2 Stone proximity (locations which are within approximately 10 miles),

2) time period (within that generally expected for Class 2 Stones) and

3) any connection with a Saint of Scotland (primarily from the Consolidated List in this website also noting any found from other Class 2 Stone research).

Assessment of relevance (by Monastic House location) considering the above criteria has been gauged as Plausible, Possible or Unlikely.

Here is detail of these Assessments and Outcome.

Given that most of the establishments in The List of Monastic Houses in Scotland were founded beyond the 10th century and none before the 6th, those listed fit well within the broadest prospective timeframe for Class 2 Stones (from the 4th to the 10th centuries).

Looking across Scotland there are 31 Monastic Houses founded in the 6th to 10th century time period that are either historically recorded or with reliable provenance. Of those just over a quarter, 8, are near Class 2 Symbol Stones; 6 were noted in the Initial Focus (on Angus and Perth & Kinross) and only 2 more have been added – Clova and Monymusk. Nearly two-thirds, 20, are not near Class 2 Stones but have Saint associations.

Overall the number of Monastic Houses is greater in number and more widespread beyond the 10th century – i.e. beyond the generally accepted top end of the timeframe for Class 2 Stones.