Aberlemno – sculptured stones and kirkyard

Aberlemno sculptured stones (7)The Aberlemno sculptured stones are a main tourist attraction in Angus. Ancient and easily accessible right by the side of a small country road, the B9134.

 

Aberlemno sculptured stones (3)Beautifully carved with intricate detail and magical names (Serpent Stone) they date back more than a thousand years.

Impressive as well as intricate and not to be missed.

A reminder of another world, when Angles and Picts were at war in Scotland.

What most visitors often do miss though is the kirkyard (kirk is the Scots word for church) across the fields.

Aberlemno sculptured stones (10)

Another one of the Pictish stones is displayed here that boast ancient symbols carved before Scotland became a Christian country. This stone tells the story of the Battle of Nechtansmere (The Battle of Dun Nechtain) fought in 685 and won by the Picts over the invading forces from Northumbria.

Aberlemno kirkyard (31)Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

The small kirkyard is beautiful in its simplicity, the gravestones are nowhere near as intricate as the Pictish ones but express their own symbolism, certainly inspired by the work of the old Scottish tribe that has left only a few traces of its existence in Scottish History. There are no written records. Only stones. But these stones talk.

Aberlemno kirkyard (14)

Double disc and stags on old stone; hearts, stars, celtic patterns, heraldic symbols, leafs and flower on the newer ones, there’s plenty to discover. The oldest headstones rest against the kirkyard wall like tired pictures, to study and peruse with time and inclination….

tempus fugit

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Stone art that has been alive for centuries in this area. Time seems appropriately out of place amongst the graves.

Aberlemno sculptured stones (8)How the world has changed since those stones in Aberlemno were carved and erected.

It has seen many wars and little peace, the rise of technology and idustrialisation and the fall of great Empires. Millions born and millions dead.

How small a life seems compared to these stones from a time long past.

 

The Aberlemno stones are reminders of time, of life and of death. Beautiful markers, indeed.

Aberlemno sculptured stones (4)

 

 

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