Knocknagael Boar Stone
Knocknagael Boar Stone
A carved Pictish slab depicting a boar, along with a traditional mirror case symbol. The stone was found at Knocknagael, south of Inverness. It was later moved to the Highlands Council Offices in Inverness in an attempt to counteract the effects of weathering on the already much-worn carvings.

The stone is dominated by the boar image. It is shown with spirals on its shoulders and haunches, as if it is preparing to leap. There are bristles along its spine, as it would be if the boar was readying to fight. The entire carving has a sense of animation as if the boar is alive.

The stone is measured at 6ft 7in high, 7ft wide and 1ft 3in thick. It has been dated to sometime during the 7th-8th centuries, during the first phase of Pictish carved stones, before they began to depict Christian symbols mixed with earlier Pictish traditional symbols.

Though the stone is inside the council offices you can see it through a specially designed glass panel in the wall of the building, where Historic Scotland have provided an information panel to interpret the carvings.

What was it used for?

We do not know why the stone was carved, but it may have served as a boundary marker, or to mark the grave of a person of high social status. It may even have recorded a marriage, as the mirror case symbol may symbolise a woman, and the boar may possibly symbolise a male.