Stones at or near a church

In the Initial Investigations into the range of Physical Locations for Class 2 Stones two groups of broad locations became apparent – those that are at a church, churchyard, manse or a church/chapel is nearby and those that are not. Stones in the second group, therefore, do no not have being at or near a church as a “feature”. Altogether there are 12 such Stones (each having other “features” of Class 2 Stones) – over half are close to water, a third are in a raised or open area and (perhaps surprisingly) 2 have an association with a Saint.

Stones that clearly are “not at or near a church” are these locations:-

BalluderonCossansFowlis Wester
Gellyburn, MurthlyGlamis, Hunter’s HillGlenferness
LargoMaiden StoneMonymusk
RaasayWester DenoonWoodwrae

Information about 3 other locations – Gask (found in a field between Gask House and Gask church), Glamis Manse 1 (may have been in part of a churchyard) and Shandwick (a burial ground nearby last used in 1832) – is less certain.

Details for each of these locations is in Synopsis and Evaluation by Stone.

Despite each of the Stones above “not being at or near a church” it is clear, from the investigations, that there is no reason to assume that they could not have been used in the full sense of Transition Stones.

For those 34 Stones that are “at or near a church” several have combinations with other features – 12 have an “association with a Saint”, 14 are “by, in or near water” and 2 are “in a raised or open area”. Aberlemno Roadside 2 (near the River South Esk) and St Vigeans (by Brothock Water) are the 2 “in a raised or open area”. Additional features may add to the prominence of a location but the prime consideration here is estimating the relationship between Stone and church – some are co-location others “nearby”. Where a Stone has been found in graveyard, such as Brodie or Golspie, an association with a church is assumed. Overall there could fairly be an assumption that the location is not just coincidental and the built place of worship was constructed some time after the Stone’s erection, the Stone having previously served as an outdoors place of worship.