Portmahomack Monastery of the Picts

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Discovery of a super-rich site in Early Medieval Scotland

"A gripping tale of rediscovery and detection, at once accessible and scholarly" William Dalrymple

Portmahomack is a small fishing village on the shore of the Dornoch Firth in North-East Scotland, where a few chance finds of carved stone near the redundant church of St Colman culminated in the first exposure of a Pictish monastery dating to the 6-8th century - the earliest days of Scottish Christianity. There was a huge harvest of finds, including 260 pieces of carved stone and evidence for making vellum and church plate. The monastery was destroyed by the Vikings in about 820 AD but revived as a workshop of metal-smiths probably working for Moray kings like MacBeth.