Dyce Pictish Stones

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 87520 15410, map


Dyce Old Church and graveyard
AB21 0HT


Contained within a modern wooden roofed structure in the ruins of Dyce Old Parish Church are a number of important carved Pictish stones, some of which pre-date the Picts' conversion to Christianity in the 8th century. They were found in the nearby glebe land of the church and in the graveyard. For many years they were built into the boundary wall of the church grounds before being moved into the east end of the ruined church.  

One of the most impressive stones is a large symbol stone with a cross in relief. It has interlaced decoration and there are numerous Pictish symbols around the Christian cross. Experts have dated it to the mid 9th century. It has an ogham inscription (a form of linear lettering) which is mostly unintelligible. Another stone (Class I) contains an 'elephant' symbol above a double disc and Z-rod. This stone is likely earlier and pagan, and so reflects the importance of this site, both before and during early Christian times. It is clear that worship was practised here long before the medieval church (see Dyce Old Parish Church) on the site was built. 

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 19464
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 19465
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 19466
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 19467
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 3152

Bibliographic References:

The early Christian monuments of Scotland: a classified illustrated descriptive list of the monuments with an analysis of their symbolism and ornamentationJ R Allen and J Anderson1903p163, 189 and 196
A Guide to Prehistoric ScotlandR W Feachem1977p194
Pictish Symbol Stones: A HandlistJ N G Ritchie1985p6
The symbol stones of Scotland: a social anthropological resolution to the problem of the PictsA Jackson1984
Exploring Scotland's heritage: Grampian, Exploring Scotland's Heritage seriesIan Shepherd1986p124
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. 12, p122
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Pictish symbol stones: a handlistRCAHMS1994p8