Knocknagael Boar Stone

“The Knocknagael Boar Stone is a large Pictish carving dating to about AD 600, dominated by the image of a wild boar. It’s emphasised by spirals and spiky bristles, and surrounded by Pictish symbols. ”

We recommend a visit to Highland Council Offices, Inverness for more information.

There is also a PDF on the national historical significance of this piece of Pictish art.

Enhanced image of the Boar

Statement of significance (HCC)

• The Knocknagael Stone is a classic example of a Pictish symbol bearing stone, the precise symbolism of which is a subject of much debate and interest.
• The stone itself and its (separate) context have the potential to provide
an insight into political, social and religious developments in northern
Pictland and how these relate to wider developments in contemporary
• The striking image of the boar, so finely executed, is of particular art
historical interest because of the relationship of animals in the related
media of sculpture, metalwork and manuscripts, and the debate about
the date of such art and the direction of artistic influences in northern
Britain. Such Pictish art may have originated in this part of Scotland,
and Knocknagael is a consideration in this debate.
• The present location in the Council offices does little to enhance the
appreciation of the full significance of the sculpture, but protects the
sculpture from the harmful effects of the elements and other threats.
• It is the only symbol-bearing stone in Historic Environment Scotland’s
care in Highland and further north and west; one of a small group of
such sculptures in north-east Scotland