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St Vigeans Stones and Museum

| Kirkstyle, St Vigeans, Arbroath DD11 4RB, Scotland
+44 1241 433739
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from US$44.40*
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It is hard to believe that this sleepy Angus village of St Vigeans was once the centre of a royal estate and of huge religious importance, bustling with prayerful pilgrims and monks. Admittedly, this was more than 1,000 years ago, so visitors could be forgiven for missing the evidence that is scattered around and in the walls of the late medieval church (not HS) perched on a striking 40ft mound in front of them.The most important indications of the village’s powerful past can be found, however, in two adjoining sandstone cottages along its only street. Within their walls in Historic Scotland’s museum are housed 38 carved stones, which had once stood up on the old church mound to broadcast early messages of the true Christian faith. The newly refurbished museum gives overdue recognition to the significance of the carvings. ‘The stones are among the last and very finest expressions of Pictish art, which makes them tremendously important – part of our national collection of the earliest art of Scotland. The quality of carving on some of the stones is as good as anything in Western Europe at that time. These included the Drosten Stone, a cross-slab dating from the early 800s and inscribed in both Latin and Pictish, carved on one side with a cross and on the other with figures and symbols; a house shrine; and a fragment of a huge freestanding cross. As well as their historical significance, there is much to intrigue visitors in the carvings, such as devilish imps, saintly figures and bizarre beasts. There are also vivid depictions of the everyday life of the Picts. They illustrate the reality of their world: details of contemporary costumes, riding equipment, and a crossbow man.
  • Excellent49%
  • Very good36%
  • Average5%
  • Poor10%
  • Terrible0%
12 May 2017
“Very interesting feature of a village”
31 Aug 2017
“Could have been better. Need to book, done through Arbroath Abbey.”
| Kirkstyle, St Vigeans, Arbroath DD11 4RB, Scotland
+44 1241 433739
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1 - 10 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2017

Booked to go and see the standing stones and was really looking forward to it. They are housed in a small cottage and it has all been done extremely well. The experience was very disappointing as there where other people there that blocked the small...More

Thank Shepherdess02
Reviewed 12 May 2017

This attraction is very interesting featuring Pictish stones in a museum but the entire area is worth a visit. Quiet little village with an interesting church and at times a reenactment

Thank Great_ani_Mal
Reviewed 30 July 2016

The museum sadly lacks standard tourist signs for some hard to fathom reason and this has resulted in the museum only being open by special request - hard to understand given the exceptional collection of Pictish stones that reside within and the grant money that...More

Thank Rossergruffydd
Reviewed 10 July 2016

This small museum is packed to the brim with lovely Pictish stones...a must visit for any Pictish enthusiast! The stones are well presented with suitable lighting bringing out the carving detail, and each stone is accompanied with interesting information. Well worth a visit.

1  Thank Murno
Reviewed 17 June 2016

You need to make a reservation to see the stones because they are in a purpose-built museum. Make the call! If you are into history and the Picts this is a must see. The stones are amazing and well preserved. Beautifully carved figures of animals,...More

2  Thank Mara M
Reviewed 22 January 2015

Go to the effort of organizing to get into this place really fantastic then up the hill to the church another worthwhile place - very out of the way place but was the original church before Arbroath Abbey

1  Thank BJH-CA
Reviewed 15 September 2014

Before the Romans, Gaels, Vikings, Normans, or Saxons left their marks on Scotland, the Picts dominated the north. With rare exception, they left behind little historical record, but the archeological record includes a rich collection of artifacts, most notably their highly-illustrative carved stones. Today, the...More

3  Thank Tyrven
Reviewed 4 September 2014

If you're driving from the Forfar direction, the museum isn't that easy to find as there are no brown tourist signs to the attraction. The ordinary white roadsign to St Vigeans is the one you take, going through a rather unpromising industrial area and modern...More

2  Thank Jane A
Reviewed 11 June 2014

If you have any interest at all in Pictish history this little museum at St Vigeans is well worth a visit. The best way to get there is to walk on the Brothock Burn trail from Arbroath, about a mile & a half pleasant walk...More

2  Thank Robin B
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Some bits of Pictish stones in a hovel which you have to pay to see. And only if you can find someone to open the door. But if you do visit St Vigeans, have a look at the church on the mound. And the nature...More

1  Thank John M
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