The Conan Pictish Stone
NOSAS and the Pictish Arts Society (PAS) together raised funds for the conservation and management of a Pictish cross-slab that was discovered in 2019 near Conon Bridge in Easter Ross. In December 2020 the stone was unveiled in Dingwall Museum. High Street visitors can currently view it through the museum window. Further details of the stone and its discovery can be found on the NOSAS Facebook Page.
This stone had lain on the ground for some time, at least since the late 18th century, and had suffered some damage that needed repair. It has now been cleaned and conserved by Graciela Ainsworth in Edinburgh, and installed at its final resting place in Dingwall Museum. It looks great in the front window of the museum, and will make quite an attraction, not only for the museum but also the town. Not every Scottish town is so lucky as to have a Pictish stone!
"Easter Ross is home to many fine Pictish sculptured stones and yet this latest discovery still manages to add something new and exciting to that collection" John Borland (President of Pictish Arts Society & Measured Survey Manager, Historic Environment Scotland). Read more expert opinion on the stone here.
Both NOSAS and the Pictish Arts Society (PAS) initially put their own money into lifting the stone from its find site and transferring it to a stone conservator in Edinburgh. A successful fundraising campaign raised over £20,000 in order to:
- Clean the stone and produce a full written assessment of the work that needed to be done.
- Undertake that repair and conservation work
- Mount the stone in an individually designed frame so that it can stand upright, as once it may have done outside a Pictish chapel.
- Undertake structural work at the museum in preparation for its transfer. This included reinforcing a wooden floor.
- Prepare display information to explain the background and the artistic importance of the stone.
- And, any money left over will go towards a series of community events and workshops in the local area that will enhance understanding of the Pictish heritage of those who now live there. Easter Ross had particular significance in Pictish times.
Many thanks for all your contributions, however small. We have also received grants and donations from these organisations and charities: Highland Council, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Society for Northern Studies, Fargher-Noble Trust, Clan Macaulay and through our Facebook and JustGiving sites.
Picts in the North: The Conan Stone Stone in Context virtual conference will take place on 13 and 14 March. Book now!
Read the Conan Stone leaflet.