The Picts who populated Scotland in the Iron and Medieval Ages are best associated with farming, hunter-gathering, tattoos and monumental slabs, so the first Pictish throne to be built in more than 1,000 years could change a few preconceptions.
Positioned in Brodie Castle near Forres last week after being created by master furniture maker Adrian McCurdy, its design has been inspired by images of nobility found on sculpted stones dating from AD 300-900. It was commissioned by National Museums Scotland as part of a project to study the earliest dwellers of the Highlands.
“This is a great opportunity to dispel popular myths that cast Scotland during this time as the archetypal Dark Age,” says Research Officer Alice Blackwell.
“We hope instead to show people how vibrant and sophisticated early historic Scotland really was. Thrones were early symbols of authority and power and so played a key role in ancient society.”
The throne has already appeared at the Scottish Parliament and the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, joining a cross-slab dating from the same period, the Rodney Stone, at Brodie.
“It will add another layer to the already fascinating history of the castle,” predicts Alexandra Mackenzie-Copp, of owners the National Trust for Scotland.
“The 25,000 visitors who come here each year are in for a treat.”