St. Orland's Pictish Stone

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Pictish Standing Stones will always have speculation surrounding their origins and meaning, sometimes even their name. None more so than this stone. Some experts believe that the name of the saint is actually "St. Erland", not St. Orland.

Whatever. This is another beautiful example of Pictish craftsmanship and artistry. St. Orland's Stone was broken and has been pinned together, and like the Glamis Manse Stone and the Hunter's Hill Stone, this, too, faces east - west.

In common with Hunter's Hill, the Celtic Christian Cross is found on the east face and has an interlaced design although it is fainter in parts than the other two stones mentioned. The Cross stem is surrounded by beautifully carved designs.

The west face is panelled showing a variety of scenes and symbols.

Starting at the bottom of the stone, there are two beasts and above them is a boat, possibly a curragh, often mistakenly called a coracle.

The coracle is a much smaller craft, used on rivers or close to shore.

Next up from the boat are two riders on horseback with hounds and another two riders above them.

Continuing up the stone, there is a strange cutout shape. Over this is a crescent and V-rod with a double disc and Z-rod.

Map appears courtesy of and is the © copyright of Ordnance Survey

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