The Picts were the indigenous people of the land which is now called Scotland. They were here before the Scots arrived from Ireland and became subsumed within the combined Scottish-Pictish nation around the ninth century AD.
Catswhiskerstours is able to design custom tours to enable interested visitors to connect with Scotland’s Pictish heritage. More information on the Picts and suitbale visitor sites is provided below.
The Picts have proved elusive in that they appear to have left no record of a discrete written language (although some understood Latin). Whilst the Romans encountered the Picts, calling them Pictii or ‘Painted Men’, the Picts were never assimilated within the Roman Empire and hence we have only tantalising pieces of information from Roman sources. However, it appears that the massive Roman presence to the south did force what may have been a disparate group of tribes into a form of unity which prevailed through to the time of the Scots takeover.
The origin, language and society of the Picts remain opaque. However, these people have a left a legacy in the form of place names and carved stones, viz:
Pictish Place Names
Today, there are numerous Pet or Pit which are usually reliable indicators of a Pictish origin. As the Picts settled the land first they selected well positioned, south facing sites for their settlements. Places with probable Pictish origins include Pitlochry, Pitagowan, Pitcairn, Pitmeddan, Pitroddie and Pittenweem. It is possible that the element Pent as found in Pentland Hills and Pentland Firth may also indicate a connection with the Picts. Using evidence from place name distribution and carved stones, it would appear that the Picts occupied the north and east of Scotland.
Pictish Carved Stones
The Irish named the Picts as the Cruithni or ?People of Designs?. In this regard the Picts have endowed us with a huge tangible legacy in the form of elaborate stone carvings, being a skill in which they clearly excelled. There are over 125 sites in Scotland where the stone carvings can be found or originated. Academics have divided the carvings in to three classes:
The carvings feature symbols which were clearly of significance to the Picts although not all are open to interpretation today. The symbols have been categorised into four groupings:
Today, there are many sites where the carvings can be viewed. In the county of Angus there is even a Pictish Trail, an itinerary which includes Pictavia Visitor Centre at Brechin, Brechin Cathedral and Round Tower, Aberlemno Sculptured Stones, Montrose Museum, St. Vigeans Museum, Dundee Museum, Meigle Museum (contains over 30 sculptured stones), Eassie Church, Kirremuir Museum, St. Orlands, Glamis, Glamis Manse and the Meffan which is a fine collection of stones at Forfar. Included in the wide range of other sites are the Dupplin Cross at Dunning, Dunfallandy Class 2 cross-slab near Pitlochry and at Dunrobin Castle.
We look forward to hearing from you!