Framework contents

Final Framework content

Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: A Research Framework was launched on 24 August 2016 at Govan Old Church in Glasgow. The following provides an 'at-a-glance' overview of the contents with links to each section of the ScARF. With its wiki format, do please add your comments and further ideas - this is a live resource that needs feeding! You can also download a pdf of the ScARF Content Overview. A pdf of the full website, and a more popular booklet targeting the wider public are in production (September 2017).

Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland:

A Research Framework

Sally Foster, Katherine Forsyth, Susan Buckham and Stuart Jeffrey

With contributions from:

Marcus Abbott, Laila Kitzler Åhfeldt, Tertia Barnett, Bruce Bishop, David Breeze, David Caldwell, Murray Cook, Neil Curtis, Audrey Dakin, Fiona Davidson, Stephen Driscoll, Iain Fraser, Shannon Fraser, Simon Gilmour, Moira Greig, Marta Díaz Guardamino, Mark Hall, Strat Halliday, Isabel Henderson, John Hughes, Fern Insh, Andy Meirion Jones, Siân Jones, Dianne King, Murdo Macdonald, Cait McCullagh, Peter McKeague, Adrián Maldonado, Gilbert Márkus, Hugh Morrison, Colin Muir, Gordon Noble, Emma O’Riordan, John Picken, Edwina Proudfoot, John Raven, Anna Ritchie, Matthew  Ritchie, Judith Roebuck, Christa Roodt, Nigel Ruckley, Jeff Sanders, Ian G Scott, Bill Stephens, Antonia Thomas, George Thomson, Sharon Webb, Iain Ross Wallace, Kelsey Jackson Williams







1.1 Project background and aims

1.2 Definition of terms

1.3 Why focus on carved stones?

1.4 Framework strategy

1.4.1    Approach

1.4.2    Understanding value



2.1 Prehistoric rock art

2.2 Roman

2.3 Early medieval

2.3.1    The material

2.3.2    Scholarship before the 1990s

2.3.3    A new corpus?

2.3.4    Other recording efforts

2.3.5    Analysis

2.3.6    Inscriptions

2.3.7    Research on protecting and recording early medieval carved stones

2.3.8    Current developments in analysing early medieval carved stones

2.3.9    Scotland’s wider context

2.4 Later medieval

2.4.1    The material

2.4.2    Overview of previous studies

2.4.3.   Reassessment of West Highland sculpture

2.4.4    Research on other classes of later medieval gravestones

2.4.5    Research presented at the Monuments and Monumentality Conference at Stirling in 2011

2.4.6    Priorities for future research

2.5 Architectural sculpture

2.5.1    In-situ architectural sculpture

2.5.2    Ex-situ architectural fragments

2.5.3    Masons’ marks

2.5.4    Foundations, sundials and other ornamental sculpture

2.6 Gravestones

2.6.1    The material

2.6.1    Accessibility of information

2.6.2    Recording graveyards: the work of antiquarians, local societies and individuals

2.6.3    Recording and researching graveyards: the work of heritage bodies

2.6.4    Academic studies and theoretical approaches

2.7 Public monuments

2.7.1    War memorials

2.7.2    Statues and other public commemorative monuments

2.7.3    Boundary stones, milestones and wayside markers

2.7.4    Market crosses

2.8 Heritage and conservation

2.8.1    Historical perspective

2.8.2    Some key themes



3.1 Introduction

3.2 Theoretical perspectives

3.2.1    Legacy of existing scholarship

3.2.2    Materiality

3.2.3    Biography

3.2.4    Landscape

3.3 Acquiring knowledge

3.3.1    Traditional recording methods

3.3.2    Digital recording

3.4 Organising data

3.4.1    Taxonomy—labelling types of stone

3.4.2    Names—labelling individual stones

3.5 Datasets

3.5.1    Handlists and corpora

3.5.2    Thematic datasets and studies

3.5.3    Audits

3.5.4    Canmore

3.6 Scientific analysis

3.7 Ways of working

3.7.1    Research environment

3.7.2    Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary working

3.8            Research recommendations

3.8.1    Principles

3.8.2    Problems

3.8.3    Practice

3.8.4    Projects: enhancing existing

3.8.5    Projects: new approaches



4.1 Introduction

4.2 Identifying and evaluating value, significance and importance

4.3 Ways of valuing

4.3.1    Historical

4.3.2    Aesthetic

4.3.3    Social

4.3.4    Spiritual/religious

4.3.5    Economic

4.3.6    Cultural/symbolic, and political

4.3.7    Temporal dimension of value

4.4 Research recommendations

4.4.1    Principles

4.4.2    Problems

4.4.3    Practice

4.4.4    Projects: enhancing existing

4.4.5    Projects: new approaches



5.1 Introduction

5.2 Ways of protecting

5.2.1    Ownership and belonging

5.2.2    Legislation and codes of practice

5.2.3    Policy and guidance

5.2.4    Physical conservation

5.3 Protection priorities

5.3.1    Issues and dilemmas

5.3.2    Authenticity

5.3.3    At-risk categories of carved stones: loose and vulnerable

5.3.4    At-risk categories of carved stones: carved stones in graveyards

5.3.5    At-risk categories of carved stones: other categories of carved stones

5.4 Research recommendations

5.4.1    Principles

5.4.2    Problems

5.4.3    Practice

5.4.4    Projects: enhancing existing

5.4.5    Projects: new approaches



6.1 Introduction

6.2 Ways of engaging

6.2.1    Through better understanding of values

6.2.2    Through understanding audiences

6.2.3    Through targeted interpretation

6.2.4    Through encouraging creativity

6.2.5    Through presentation and displays

6.2.6    Through visitor studies

6.2.7    Through education

6.2.8    Through information management and access

6.2.9    Though volunteering

6.3 Research recommendations

6.3.1    Principles

6.3.2    Problems

6.3.3    Practice

6.3.4    Projects: enhancing existing

6.3.5    Projects: new approaches





8.1 Carved Stones Workshop report 1

8.2 Carved Stones Workshop report 2 

8.3 Carved Stones Workshop report 3

8.4 Summary of the impact of workshops from questionnaires and feedback





10.1           Prehistoric rock art

10.2           Roman

10.3           Early medieval

10.4           Later medieval

10.5           Architectural sculpture

10.6           Gravestones

10.7           Public monuments

10.8           Heritage and conservation

10.9           Digital



  1. Making a difference: the Govan Stones (Stephen Driscoll)
  2. Bullauns and taxonomy (Katherine Forsyth)
  3. Graveyard recording (Susan Buckham)
  4. The Canmore Early Medieval Sculpture Upgrade Project: example (Anna Ritchie)
  5. The tomb of Robert the Bruce (Iain Fraser)
  6. The ACCORD project, community co-production (Stuart Jeffrey)
  7. Imaging techniques: the ‘Making a Mark’ project (Andrew Meirion Jones and Marta Díaz Guardamino)
  8. Materiality, Authenticity and Value: the wider implications of science-based conservation of carved stone (John Hughes and Siân Jones)
  9. Magnetic susceptibility: a non-destructive geological technique used in provenancing carved stones (Nigel A Ruckley)
  10. STONE Project, Edinburgh College of Art (Katherine Forsyth)
  11. Donside: early medieval carved stones in a landscape context (Iain Fraser and Strat Halliday)
  12. Faith in Cowal: a pilgrimage project and an early medieval cross (Gilbert Márkus)
  13. The craft of carved stone replicas (Sally Foster)
  14. Early medieval sculptured stone and the production of social value (Siân Jones)
  15. Celtic Revival gravemarkers in Scotland (Murdo Macdonald)
  16. The Hilton of Cadboll cross-slab: a complex and fragmented biography (Siân Jones and Sally Foster)
  17. Glazed monument shelters (Colin Muir)
  18. Strength in disciplinary collaboration: early medieval examples (Sally Foster)
  19. Cradle of Scotland exhibition (Stephen Driscoll)
  20. Edinburgh Graveyards Scoping Report (Susan Buckham)
  21. Elgin Cathedral Redisplay Project (Hugh Morrison)
  22. Crail Kirkyard, Fife: histories in wood and stone (Kelsey Jackson Williams)
  23. Rhynie Woman and community engagement (Gordon Noble)
  24. Creative archaeological visualization of the rock art at Ballochmyle (Matt Ritchie)
  25. The Kelsae Stane (Katherine Forsyth)
  26. Iona Abbey and Kirkmadrine (Adrián Maldonado)
  27. Investigating our carved stone heritage: resources to support learning and engagement (Fiona Davidson)
  28. Information management and online discovery (Peter McKeague)
  29. Community engagement with rock art: the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project (Tertia Barnett)
  30. HES Canmore Early Medieval Sculpture Upgrade Project (Iain Fraser)
  31. The value of metric drawing (Ian G Scott)
  32. The Stone of Scone (David Caldwell)
  33. Rodney’s Stone, Brodie Castle: weaving together conservation, art and education (Shannon Fraser)
  34. Graffiti: meaning and value in the context of carved stones (Mark Hall)
  35. Buried tombstones (Susan Buckham)
  36. Wemyss Caves (Marcus Abbot)
  37. Condition monitoring at the rock art at Ormaig (Matt Ritchie)
  38. The Picts: a learning resource―an inclusive approach to integrating archaeology and the Curriculum for Excellence (Matt Ritchie)
  39. Auchnaha cairn in Cowal, and its cross-carved stone (Gilbert Márkus)