Outstanding collection of Pictish stones on display as museum opens for new season

One of Scotland’s most outstanding collections of Pictish carved stones are again available for public view following the reopening of St Vigeans Museum.
​St Vigeans Museum opened to the public on Monday for the new season.​St Vigeans Museum opened to the public on Monday for the new season.
​St Vigeans Museum opened to the public on Monday for the new season.

The museum is one of more than 20 sites run by Historic Environment Scotland which is opening for the new season.

At the museum, in the middle of the picturesque village, visitors will be able to view the outstanding collection of 38 Pictish stones which formerly stood on the old church mound.

Some of the stones are more than 1000 years old and form a vital part of the understanding of an early era in Scotland’s history.

Highlights of the collection include a house shrine, a fragment of a huge free-standing cross and the Drosten Stone, a slab from the early 800s with Latin, Pictish and Old Irish inscriptions.

Other local seasonal attractions, which incorporate some of Scotland’s most iconic sites, will also open their doors once more, with other year-round sites reopening to visitors following a prioritised programme of works in the face of accelerating climate change.

In the Angus area, the Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum also opened at the weekend. Situated in the old parish school beside the village church, the museum houses 27 carved stones, most of which date from the 9th or 10th centuries.

Several other sites across Scotland are also re-opening following high-level masonry inspections. Access restrictions were put in place at a number of sites last year as a safety precaution while HES introduced new measures to manage the impact of climate change on its heritage sites.

Craig Mearns, HES director of operations, said: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors to so many of our historic sites this season, with members of the public being able to explore much-loved heritage attractions across the country.

“We hope as many people as possible explore Scotland’s world-famous historic environment this spring. From castles, palaces and abbeys to museums, brochs and towers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Partial restrictions may remain at some sites while the masonry programme continues. Booking is recommended at all ticketed sites and further information can be found at historyawaits.scot.