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Bressay Stone

A particularly fine 9th-century Pictish cross-slab, the Bressay Stone lies in the graveyard of the abandoned 12th century St. Mary's Church at Cullingsburgh on the northeast coast of the island of Bressay in Shetland. The stone was found here by a workman in 1852 and is decorated with an ornate cross-head, a horseman between two monks, various beasts (including a boar) and several symbols. Importantly, it also features an Ogham inscription which combines Norse names and words with Gaelic, leading some to suggest that Norse settlement of Scotland was not as violent as has been assumed. In 1864 the stone was removed to the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh (now the Museum of Scotland). However, a replica was erected within the churchyard by the Shetland Council of Churches in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium.


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