Scotlands History

Portmahomack Pictish Monastery

Portmahomack, on the northern coast of the Tarbat Peninsula in Easter Ross, is one of the earliest Christian sites uncovered in Britain. It is the first Pictish monastery to be excavated.

The settlement has been dated from the 6th to the 9th centuries AD. Archaeological excavations discovered that the Portmahomack Pictish monastery was destroyed between AD 780 and 830 – probably during a Viking attack.

Archaeologists found more than 200 fragments of Pictish stone sculptures, including the ‘Calf Stone’ which shows a bull and cow licking their calf.

Finds from the Portmahomack excavations can be seen at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Tarbat Discovery Centre in St Colman’s church at Portmahomack.

  • Image of a Sandstone cross slab fragment

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