The Pictish Arts Society





On 25 May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across Europe.  It introduced stricter requirements on the way we handle data.


Positive consent from our members is necessary before we, the Pictish Arts Society Committee, can communicate with them by email or by post or by phone.  Members can withdraw their permission at any time by contacting


Personal data supplied by our members is kept on file and is used solely to communicate with members.  The Sign-in book at lectures also contains names and addresses of those attending lectures.  Personal data will not be shared with any third parties.


Members’ names and addresses/email addresses are kept for distributing our Newsletters by post/email, sending information about the PAS Conference/AGM and Brechin lecture series, occasional items of interest, and reminders about subscriptions.  Phone numbers are kept in case of last minute changes or cancellations, e.g. if a speaker falls ill shortly before their talk.


Data will be deleted once it becomes clear that membership has ended after reminders about late payment have been sent.


Members have the right of access, referred to as subject access, to obtain a copy of their personal data. This is obtainable, subject to proof of identity, from the Membership Secretary.


Pictish Arts Society

May 2018


The Pictish Arts Society was founded in 1988.

It is the purpose of the PAS to raise public awareness of the Pictish stones, history and culture and to encourage various arts inspired by Pictish design. Membership is open to one and all from across the globe for anyone who has an interest in the Pictish stones and arts.



All photos by Bob Henery, Strathclyde University or David McGovern


Our Winter/Spring series of lectures is held in the upstairs gallery, Brechin

Museum, High Street, Brechin, in association with Angus Council.  

Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  Everybody is welcome!

Members free.  Guests and visitors £3.00 including tea, coffee and biscuits.

If you require disabled access, please contact Stewart Mowatt on 01356 623981.


Forthcoming Events

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PICTISH ARTS SOCIETY SEPTEMBER LECTURE                                           For immediate release


The first lecture of the 2018/2019 season of the Pictish Arts Society will be held on Friday 21 September in association with AngusALIVE Museums & Galleries. The venue is the upstairs gallery of Brechin Museum in the High Street. The lecture will be given by John Borland and is entitled The Archers: An Everyday Story of Pictish Folk?


From the shores of the Forth in the south to the Northern Isles, from Buchan in the east to the Western Isles, the form of Pictish symbols remains remarkably consistent.  And this uniformity isn’t limited just to their shape.  In many cases, the symbols are surprisingly close to each other in size too.  This has led some scholars to speculate that Pictish symbol stones may have been carved by itinerant craftsmen, travelling throughout Pictland equipped with chisel, mallet AND leather templates in the shape of the symbols.


In contrast, figurative carving on Pictish cross slabs seems to be entirely variable and seldom if ever attracts speculation about the use of templates. Numerous themes recur again and again: the mounted hunt, the pedestrian traveller with staff in hand, bearded clerics, winged angels and many more besides.  There are plenty of repeated motifs but each version of the figure is unique.


However there are a few examples of figurative carving which clearly show a close relationship with each other.  One such character appears on a well-known Angus cross slab but his closely related counterparts are probably much less familiar.  In this talk, John Borland will examine the case for the use of templates in carving Pictish symbols and then look in detail at this rare set of interrelated figures.


John Borland joined the Drawing Office of the Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland in 1984 and worked for the Commission until he transferred over to Historic Environment Scotland in 2015. During those 30+ years, he has surveyed archaeological and architectural monuments of every period and type, from Neolithic chambered cairns to WWII gun emplacements.


John has also recorded a wide variety of carved stone monuments, from cup and ring markings to post-Medieval architectural details but he has a special interest in Pictish and Early Medieval sculpture.  He is currently the President of the Pictish Arts Society and will be familiar to those who have attended previous talks as the evening’s MC.


Doors open at Brechin Museum at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 pm start. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available after the talks which are free to members and £3.00 to non-members. All are welcome.


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