Groam House Museum

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

2013

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Product country

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Travelled with

Husband

Reasons for trip

Rosemarkie was an important Pictish settlement and a number of Pictish stones have been found in the area. A selection of these are displayed in Groam House Museum in the centre of the village.

The ground floor has a display of about 15 carved stones, with a small shop selling books, post cards, mugs and jewellery. There are a bench with replica stones to make rubbings of and folders containing pictures of Pictish stones throughout Scotland. Upstairs is a display of Edwardian and Victoriana artefacts with Pictish designs. There is a video about the Picts in Ross-shire and also about Brahan Seer, the local Nostradamus.

Pride of place is the Rosemarkie cross slab, standing 10’ high and dating from the end of the 8thC. This is unusual as the cross is tiny and is made of four squares carved into the surface to form an equal armed cross. It is surrounded by much eroded interlaced carving. On the reverse side is a crescent. Below is a double disc with a Z-rod. The top of the Z has decorative carving. Below is another crescent with an interlaced design and what could be two mirrors below. The panel below this has another cross with decorative ends set in a geometric frame.

The rest of the stones are fragments, mainly of crosses. There are information panels about each. One is unusual as the cross is carved on the surface of a boulder. The reverse is uncarved. Another has a carving of a bearded man surrounded by animal heads, one showing its sharp teeth. This is a replica as the original is in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

This is an interesting collection of stones. We were given a warm welcome and photography is allowed. The museum is free but visitors are asked to make a donation. There is no parking at the museum but there is a car park a short distance away.

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