Pictish Arts Society lecture season returns

Brechin Town House Museum
Brechin Town House Museum

The Pictish Arts Society will resume their 2014/15 season of lectures on Friday, March 20, following their winter break.

The lectures, in association with Angus Council Museums, will take place in the upstairs gallery of Brechin Museum in the High Street.

The lecture will be given by Professor Jane Geddes and is entitled The Pictish Church at Tullich, Aberdeenshire.

The roofless church at the centre of Tullich burial ground dates from the Middle Ages and has associations with both the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitallers.

However, an impressive and important collection of sculpture - a symbol stone, numerous simple cross slabs and a massive stone font - indicates that the site has Pictish origins.

Indeed Tullich Church is dedicated to the Pictish saint Nathalan, who died in 679.

Following excavations in the kirkyard in 2012-13, carbon dating was able to corroborate activity on the site between the seventh and ninth centuries.

The excavations also brought to light two more cross-incised slabs, bringing the total at Tullich to 16 - the largest assemblage of such stones not only in Aberdeenshire but indeed in all of Pictland.

A close investigation of the Tullich stones and their location suggests the site was a vital centre for missionary activity in Deeside, leading to a cluster of other cross-marked stones along the Dee.

This type of stone leaves a trail through a variety of sites in Perthshire all the way back to the mission centres in the west of Scotland, including Iona.

Jane Geddes is professor of History of Art at Aberdeen University.

She worked closely with Historic Scotland on the creation of St Vigeans Museum of Pictish sculpture, and is shortly publishing a book about that collection.

The Pictish Arts Society requests that advance notice be given by anyone attending who may require disabled access.

This allows for assistance to be provided and for oversight of the potential requirement of escape in case of emergency.

Advance notice may be advised to Stewart Mowatt on 01356 623981.

Doors open at Brechin Town House Museum at 7 for a 7.30 p.m. start.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available after the talks, which are free to members and costs £2.50 for non-members. All are welcome. Membership is open to anyone who has an interest in the Pictish stones and arts

Forthcoming lecture dates for the remainder of the season are Friday, April 17 and Friday, May 15.

The Pictish Arts Society was formed in 1988 to help raise public awareness of the Pictish stones, history and culture. For further information on the Society, visit www.thepictishartssociety.org.uk.