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Craw Stane, symbol stone and enclosure 575m east of Mains of Rhynie

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.325 / 57°19'29"N

Longitude: -2.8369 / 2°50'12"W

OS Eastings: 349704

OS Northings: 826358

OS Grid: NJ497263

Mapcode National: GBR M9CC.752

Mapcode Global: WH7MB.D4BX

Entry Name: Craw Stane, symbol stone and enclosure 575m E of Mains of Rhynie

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1923

Last Amended: 9 January 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM69

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: symbol stone; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or

Location: Rhynie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument consists of a Class 1 Pictish symbol stone, known as the Craw Stane or Rynie No 1. It is situated on a S facing slope just below the crest of a hill in a pasture field which overlooks the valley of the river Bogie to the E and the site of St Luag's church to the NE. The symbol stone stands within an enclosure, now showing as a cropmark. The monument was originally scheduled in 1923 and rescheduled in 1961. On both occasions only the symbol stone and a small area around it was scheduled. However, aerial photography of the area has demonstrated the existence of an enclosure in which the symbol stone stands. The monument is being rescheduled in order to include the cropmark enclosure within the scheduled area.

The Craw Stane is a rectangular block of grey granite, measuring 0.9m in breadth and 0.4m wide and 1.85m in height set in a concrete base. Its SW face bears the incised figure of a fish and, immediately below it, a Pictish beast. The symbols are grooved, pecked and reasonably clear.

The symbol stone stands at the eastern edge of the cropmark of a roughly oval enclosure. It is formed of three concentric rings, which probably represent palisade ditches. The outer ring has a maximum diameter of 66m SW-NE. It is unclear what relationship there was between what appears to be a defended site, dating from the late 1st millennium BC to mid-1st millennium AD, and the Pictish symbol stone, which dates from around the 6th century AD. However, the location of the symbol stone within the cropmark does suggest that it is on or very near its original location, although re-erected with a concrete base.

The area to be scheduled includes the Craw Stane and the cropmark enclosure, and an area around them in which related remains are likely to survive. The area is four-sided and has maximum dimensions of 150m NE-SW and 140m transversely as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of an in situ Class 1 Pictish symbol stone situated within a complex enclosure, which survives as a cropmark. The site is associated with several other symbol stones; the Rhynie Man stone was ploughed up down-slope from the Craw Stane, and in total eight Pictish stones have been found in the vicinity of St Luag's Church, perhaps focused on the Craw Stane and its surrounding enclosure. The existence of the symbol stones demonstrates the significance of this site. The cropmark itself has enormous potential to improve our understanding of the context in which Pictish symbol stones were erected.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ42NE 35 and NJ42NE 54.

References:

Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys 1979, AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE, Discovery Excav Scot, 1979, 12.

Allen and Anderson, J R and J (1903) THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS OF SCOTLAND: A CLASSIFIED ILLUSTRATED DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF THE MONUMENTS WITH AN ANALYSIS OF THEIR SYMBOLISM AND ORNAMENTATION, Edinburgh, Pt. 3, 182.

Jackson A 1984, THE SYMBOL STONES OF SCOTLAND: A SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF THE PICTS, Kirkwall.

Logan J 1829 OBSERVATIONS ON SEVERAL MONUMENTAL STONES IN THE NORTH OF SCOTLAND, Archaeologia, 22, 1829, 55.

Mack A 1997, FIELD GUIDE TO THE PICTISH SYMBOL STONES, BALGAVIES, ANGUS, 87.

RCAHMS 1994, PICTISH SYMBOL STONES: A HANDLIST 1994, Edinburgh, 10, No. Rhynie 1.

Ritchie J N G 1985, PICTISH SYMBOL STONES: A HANDLIST 1985, Edinburgh, 8.

Stuart J 1856, SCULPTURED STONES OF SCOTLAND, 1, Aberdeen, 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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