A Mysterious Pictish Stone


                                                                                                Martin’s Stane

One of the most enigmatic and mysterious Pictish stones is known as  ‘Martin’s Stane.’ Located at the foot of the Sidlaws around five miles north of  the city of Dundee this well known Pictish symbol stone has on it a serpent, a horseman and what has been described as the ‘cetus creature’ . Another horseman can partly be seen below these three symbols. As with the other Pictish symbol stones the original meaning of these designs has been lost in the mist of time however as elsewhere local legends attest to a mythical explanation for them. In the one concerning this stone it is that a farmer with nine daughters had them all killed by a hugh snake like creature near to a nearby well at a place called Pittempton. Joined by a local group including a friend called Martin who carried a large club and who swiftly pursued the creature through the Baldragon hollow to the Dighty burn with the following crows screaming ‘Strike Martin’.  Lifting his large club Martin struck the creature. It is thought that the village which was founded there was known as Strikemartin but was later changed to Strathmartine. The dragon continued to rush northwards until it was again caught by Martin and the other members of the group and killed where the symbol stone ‘Martin’s stane ‘ is now located.