Eassie Old Church: Pictish Stone

Whilst on the way to visit Glamis Castle in Scotland last year, we took the chance to stop off at Eassie Old Church which is about 2 miles away. There was a specific reason for doing so as it is the site of a Pictish Stone

The Eassie Cross Slab stands 2.02m high by 1.01m wide. It was found in the burn that flows past the churchyard in about 1850. Today it stands within the east end of the shell of the Old Parish Church, displayed within a transparent shelter which protects the stone from the weather. The front of the cross slab is largely covered by a very finely carved and detailed cross.

It is thought to have been carved in 700s or 800s.

The interior of the cross is filled with intricate interlaced patterns. In the four corners are a four-winged angel, mirrored in the opposite corner though this one is extensively damaged. At the bottom left is a hunter wearing a cloak and carrying a shield and a spear and opposite are a series of animals including a stag and a hound.

The rear side is more eroded and damaged, but several carvings can still be identified.

At the top left is a mythical beast ‘elephant’ and two disks along with a Z-rod. Both of these are Pictish symbols. Below this are three men in cloaks, knee-length tunics and carrying staffs. And below the men are three cows, one of which appears to be wearing a cow bell. Top right is another Pict wearing a tunic and carrying a staff or spear next to a potted tree. The bottom right is badly damaged but could contain a horseshoe in the centre.

Thursday’s Special | Traces of the Past

Published by


I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

65 thoughts on “Eassie Old Church: Pictish Stone”

    1. So much to see in Scotland, I hope you are planning to be there for some time!
      Nice to see you Janaline, I hope all is well in my favourite city 🙂

    1. The carvings on the headstones are equally beautiful as you will see next week, but these are astonishing to have lasted so long.

  1. What a lovely find, Jude! Paula will appreciate it, even if it’s not Thursday. What with you and Gilly I’m very confused these days (and you haven’t been to see my walk yet so I’m sulking 😦 )

    1. I’ve decided that the west country is in a different time zone and noone has told us!!!

      PS This is a wonderful find Jude.

      1. Ah, I read that comment incorrectly. You are of course, referring to my day of posting and Jo’s remark (teach me not to read her remark first before replying). Sorry!!!!

    2. Paula is on holiday so the Traces of the Past is running until the 29th. I have another one (of the graveyard) for next week to slip in before the next Thursday Special 😀

    1. The photography was difficult. It is behind a glass screen and I was getting all sorts of unwanted reflections until I noticed a gap and managed to squeeze the camera in! There are quite a few of these stones in Angus. A shame we didn’t have time to see more.

  2. I wonder how long it was in the burn, it’s remarkably well preserved. Fascinating, I haven’t heard of this before so will bear it in mind next time we go up north.

    1. There is a stone museum nearby at Meigle – ticket entry is £4 each, but it was closed on the day we went through and I believe there are several more in close proximity.

  3. Intriguing people the Picts. I used to come across their stones when I lived in Aberdeenshire, but none as intricately carved or as well surviving as this one. Well shot under difficult cons, Jude.

    1. I love seeing old stones (nice to know there are things older than me) and I noticed this was on our way to Glamis. Difficult to find though, we ended up in a farm yard first!

        1. No, now you mention it. But then strangely most of my time there was spent in the uni library writing about Mbuti pygmies of the Congo for my M.Litt, and also avoiding learning how to play golf. In fact it might not have been me at all back them 🙂

    1. Fortunately there is a plaque next to the stone telling you all about it. The angels and the men are obvious, the cows less so!

    1. I wish they’d protect some of the exquisite headstones in the churchyard too, but being merely Victorian or later I suppose they are not considered important.

Comments are closed.