Pictish Statements in Stone

Forteviot church possesses several fragments of carved stone. They help us to understand Pictish life between the 8th and 10th centuries AD. The Invermay, Constantine’s and Gask crosses were commemorative territorial markers for the royal centre at Forteviot, marking the boundaries and main approaches to the palace. The Forteviot A and B crosses may have had a similar purpose or they may have stood closer to the church, palace and cemetery complex.

This display suggests how the crosses may have appeared. After centuries of weather most sculptures bear no traces of colour. Minute amounts of colour do survive on some pieces of early medieval sculpture, enough to suggest that the Picts also painted their sculptures. The key colours were green, blue, yellow, red and white. Constantine’s Cross, brightly painted, would have been a dramatic, highly visible feature in the landscape, enhancing the
king’s authority.

Constantine’s Cross is currently on display at St. Serf’s, Dunning, the Forteviot Arch is on display at the National Museum of Scotland, and the rest of the sculpture is on permanent display in Forteviot Parish Church.

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