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19 Jun 2018

A long read

Written by Oliver Taylor
Rodney Stone detail
Rodney Stone detail
On the longest day one might want to have a go at reading one of the longest pieces of ancient writing in Scotland. It might take you all day though!

At Brodie Castle there is a peculiar looking stone. The Rodney Stone is a Pictish standing stone, and one of the best examples in Scotland. The stone is richly carved, with interesting shapes and even some exotic animals, including an elephant, a fish-monster and even some dragons.

Rodney Stone front
Rodney Stone front
Rodney Stone back
Rodney Stone back

The stone was given the name ‘Rodney’ in commemoration of the victory of Admiral Rodney over the French Fleet in Dominiqua in 1782, but it may also have been named after the rat catcher and grave digger from the nearby village of Dyke who shared a similar name.

The stone is inscribed with the longest known ogham script in Scotland. There are three ogham inscriptions, over two sides of the stone. However, it is a little difficult to read, unless you understand ancient alphabets. The hard work has thankfully been done for us, and part of the inscription includes the name ‘Ethernan’. If you feel like you could work out the rest then wander over to the stone at Brodie Castle.


Project Reveal will result in an updated database with high quality images and unique object numbers for every item in the Trust material culture collections. Six regionally based project teams, supported by experienced project managers, will work across all of our properties with collections to complete the inventory in 18 months from July 2017 until December 2018.

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