St Orland's Stone

Forfar, United Kingdom

St Orland's Stone is a Pictish Cross-Slab at Cossans, near Kirriemuir and Forfar.  The stone is a worked slab of Old Red Sandstone and it is 2.4 metres tall. The slab is carved on both faces in relief and, as it bears Pictish symbols, it falls into John Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson's classification system as a class II stone.

The cross face bears a ringed Celtic cross decorated with interlaced knotwork and spiral designs. It is surrounded in the lower two quadrants by interlaced fantastic beasts. The border appears to have once borne knotwork designs, but is weathered and difficult to interpret.

The rear face is bears crescent and v-rod and double disc and z-rod Pictish symbols. Below this is what appears to be a hunting scene, with four horsemen accompanied by two hounds, below this is a boat loaded with passengers and a depiction of a fantastic beast facing or attacking a bull. A quadrangular section between the Pictish symbols and figural carving is missing, and appears to have been cut out or a previously inlaid section has been removed. The carving is bordered by interlaced knotwork.

At some point, the stone has been broken and has been repaired using iron staples, formerly on the faces of the stone, now on the edges, to reinforce it.

Direct access to St Orland’s Stone is currently not possible due to conservation works. The stone can be viewed from a safe distance.



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Forfar, United Kingdom
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Founded: 500-800 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


3.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrés Cedeño (2 years ago)
Rule 1: bring your wellies Rule 2: Not small children as 60-70cm deep water filled ditch forcibly has to be jumped. Rule 3: leave car where Google maps says walk straight ahead to a gate, turn right and then use common sense. The thing is visible from afar.
Clare Stewart (4 years ago)
Difficult to find
Menhir jp (4 years ago)
If you want to visit during the summer when the fields are filled with grain, it is recommended to walk from the side of a private house in the west. If you want to walk through the harvested fields, pass by the farmhouse on the south side and follow the unpaved road, where you will find a gate at the end of the unpaved road. Walk through the field to the east through the gate. Even if you go north directly from the farm on the south side, there is a small creek on the way and you cannot cross the creek. Since the stone is outside the field and the field is covered by a fence, it is difficult to approach the stone directly from the field.
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