Brough Of Birsay
This old red sandstone was found broken into sixteen fragments during excavations of the graveyard at Brough of Birsay.
Discovered in 1935 close to the west wall of the graveyard, the fragments have been put back together to reveal the numerous symbols carved on the stone which would have measured around 1.84m tall by 0.8m across and 0.03m thick.
At the top right of the slab is the remnants of a disc with notched rectangle. Below it to the left is a crescent and V-rod and almost central below that is a Pictish beast above and eagle, both facing right.
On the bottom half of the slab are three warriors walking right, each wearing a belted tunic and all carrying a sword, spear and decorated square shield. The front two figures both have beards while the one at the back is clean-shaven. The figure leading the trio is thought to represent someone of higher status than his peers since his hair is curled, his beard more luxuriant and his shield decorated more elaborately.
The stone fragments are now in the National Museum of Scotland with the accession number X.IB.243.
Where is Brough Of Birsay?
Brough Of Birsay is in the parish of Birsay and the county of Orkney.
Grid reference: HY 2398 2850
Lat / long: 59.1369090377394, -3.33004607524204