Issued: 4 September 2012
Angus Heritage Week To Highlight The Legacy of The Picts
Pictish standing stone at Aberlemno
Throughout Angus Heritage Week (7-14 September), there will be several opportunities to find out more about the people who lived in and around Angus 1800 years ago – the Picts.
“The Picts are critical to the history and heritage of Angus – and of Scotland,” said Dr Sheila Hainey, who is a member of the Pictish Arts Society and will lead Angus Heritage Week’s tour of important Pictish sites - ‘A Day Out With The Picts’ – on Monday, September 10. “Along with the Scots, the Picts from the area around the River Tay were at the core of the kingdom that was to become Alba and then Scotland.”
Dr Hainey explained that the Picts left behind a highly visible legacy - the intricately carved standing stones which are scattered across the Angus countryside. “The Picts were simply ordinary people going about their everyday lives but they created the most magnificent carved stones,” said Dr Hainey. “’A Day Out With the Picts’ will provide opportunities to study these stones at close quarters and discover the stories they tell.”
‘A Day Out With The Picts’ will start at Pictavia, the visitor centre near Brechin which provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the Picts and which currently has a replica Pictish throne on display. “Next,” added Dr Hainey, “we’ll head out to Aberlemno, location of three spectacular standing stones by the roadside and the famous Pictish stone which graphically depicts the Battle of Dunnichen, where the Picts routed the invading Angles.”
Next stop will be The Meffan in Forfar, where several excellent examples of local Pictish stones are housed, and then on to St Vigeans Museum, which holds one of the most important collections of early Christian and Pictish stones. “St Vigeans was an incredibly important site in the early days of Christianity, when the Picts were at their peak, and many of the Pictish stones in this museum were discovered in the kirkyard across the road,” said Dr Hainey. “It’s wonderful to be able to see so many of these stones so close to their original location.”
‘A Day Out With The Picts’ costs £12 per person, including transport during the tour, which starts and ends at Pictavia, a soup and sandwich lunch at Foresterseat Restaurant near Forfar, and entry to all sites (call 01356 623050 to book).
Angus Heritage Week runs from 7 September until 14 September. On the afternoon of Thursday, September 13, local historian and fellow member of the Pictish Arts Society Norman Atkinson will hold a two-hour question and answer session at Pictavia (normal entrance fees apply). “This is a chance to find out more about the Picts – and to sort out fact from fiction,” said Norman. “There are so many myths about this ancient people and, although they left little in the way of written history, thanks to their carvings and archaeological digs, we actually know much more about these early inhabitants of Angus than many people realise.”
From 2-3pm on Saturday, 8 September, there will be a free Pictish Workshop for children at Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum. Young visitors will be able to try a variety of Pictish-themed activities, such as carving their own Pictish stone and learning how to write their name in the language of the Picts (booking essential – call 01575 575479).
In addition, the Angus Heritage Week Passport - which is available from leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus - features a competition to win a free family ticket to Pictavia.
There’s something for everyone during this year’s Angus Heritage Week. The programme features a wide variety of events and also lists some of the many fascinating places to visit across Angus throughout the year. From the wartime aircraft at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre to the splendour of Glamis Castle to medieval Restenneth Priory, the heritage and history of Angus can be enjoyed by all.
To find out more about Angus Heritage Week, pick up a copy of the festival programme from leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife (or download from www.angusheritage.com) or visit www.angusheritage.com, ‘like’ the Angus Heritage Facebook page or follow on Twitter.
Angus Heritage is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programme 2007-2013 as part of the Rural Tourism Business Support project - a partnership of organisations operating within the East of Scotland seeking to improve the region’s tourism product through a focus on key sectors.
Partners have identified four key niche markets for stimulating local and regional tourism and which will benefit from collaborative business support and investment. The four key niche tourism markets are: Food & Drink, Golf, Outdoor and Ancestral