Photograph by Cathy MacIver.
At the crest of a small hill in a field as you enter Rhynie from the South stands the ‘Craw Stane’. This is a stone that stands approximately 2 metres in height and has engraved upon it 2 Pictish symbols. The top one is of a Salmon and underneath that is a Pictish beast. The stone has been proved to be in its original position and the Rhynie Man symbol stone was unearthed just a few metres from it.
Crop marks of three enclosures were identified by aerial photographs around the Craw Stane in 2005, two of which are probably ditched, while the other is palisaded, enclosing a total area of c 60 x 50m. The ditched enclosures appear to have entrances to the E. The Craw Stane lies between the two ditches at the southern side of the entrance area. A series of features was also identified within these enclosures.
In 2011 and 2012 Rhynie Environs Archaeology Project (REAP) carried out an evaluation of the Craw Stane enclosures that identified the cropmarks as a series of impressive earthwork and timber defences, consisting of an inner and outer ditch and an incredible outer palisade and post setting creating a timber enclosure wall. Inside the enclosures were a number of other structures including a post-built rectangular building or hall.
The palisade was made of massive Oak planks and within the palisade a series of structures have been identified. Finds within the Craw Stane ‘palace’ have indicated that Rhynie was once of great Pictish importance with the people who used this place being of immense wealth and status. Was this just a continuation of the population that was there before? This site was only used for approximately 100-150 years. What happened to them? What was special about the Rhynie area in context to the rest of ‘Pictland’ to warrant such luxury?
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Date of Discovery:
Location of Discovery:
Main St, Huntly AB54 4HL, UK
Location of Origin:
Main St, Huntly AB54, UK