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C.Garner and P.Wright

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Suenos Stone

Near Forres, Moray
Map Reference: NJ 046 595

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[Grampian Region]

The largest surviving Pict stone, it is 20 feet (6 meters) tall and encased in glass structure to protect it from the elements. The name seems to be derived from the fellow who found it buried at a parish. Suenos Stone translates to Svens Stone.

The style of carvings and subject matter indicate that the stone was probably created in the 9th century. A large Celtic cross carved on one side and over 100 figures on the other side depicting a battle. There are scenes of fighting, decapitation and piles of dead. The dead are illustrated in two groups of seven said to symbolize the Pict nobles of the north and south.

Based on the time period there are three possible occasions for it to commemorate.

  1. Kenneth MacAlpins's grim victory over the Pictish nobles.
  2. Confrontation between the Pictish force and the Norsemen at Burghead
  3. The death of Scottish King Dubh during a battle in 966 at Forres. The body of the king lay beneath the bridge at Kinloss.

Photo Copyright ©1998 by Sally J. Smith

Photo Copyright ©1998 by Sally J. Smith