I immediately went into ‘there has to be somewhere to park’ mode. You don’t just drive past a humungous mound without stopping…not when it is so very obviously man-made. And especially not when there are two of them. And in an urban cemetery, of all places! We have had a bit of trouble with mounds in the past, especially on workshops. They have a tendency to go missing. But here, we found ourselves with a brace of the things and completely unexpectedly too.
We had just said farewell to our companions after a fabulous weekend and were simply planning on getting back to the hotel, relaxing for a while and starting to process what we had seen. We wanted a fairly early start the next morning as we had a long way to go… and were fully intending on being sidetracked several times. I also had a road through the Scottish Highlands in mind that I have not driven in many a year and which is just too glorious to miss. So, instead of sensibly heading south towards home, we would first be heading north to Inverness. An early night was in order.
But, ‘back to the hotel’ went out of the window as we parked the car and read the signs on the cemetery wall and gate.I was rather intrigued by the memorial to the wives of William Thom. The surname has a certain significance to those with an interest in ancient stone, but this Thom was a handloom weaver from Aberdeen who wrote poetry in the vernacular. He was born around 1800 and died of consumption aged forty-eight.
Then another sign caught my eye.
“Ooh, Pictish symbol stones too!”
“Bugger,” said my companion, reading a notice. “They’ve moved them.”
It was a shame. The information boards showed them to have been rather beautiful… especially the running horse. I would have liked to have seen them. The stones are around fifteen hundred years old and were found re-used as part of the building materials for the medieval church that had once stood here.
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