20-tonne Pictish sculpture takes the high road

The stone sculpture is driven by the Slochd Summit on the A9
The stone sculpture is driven by the Slochd Summit on the A9
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A 20-tonne sculpture – commissioned by a whisky company to stand outside its new bottling plant in Livingston as a permanent reminder of its Highland roots – has been transported by a low-loader lorry from Glenmorangie’s distillery in Tain.

Ross-shire-based Barry Grove, an internationally renowned stone sculptor, was commissioned by Glenmorangie to create a sculpture which explored the country’s Pictish heritage.

Created over two years using only traditional hand tools, the sculpture explores the theme of re-discovery and depicts blowing leaves revealing a symbol of Pictish design and intricate knot-work, the origin of which dates back to 800AD.

The sculpture was carved from 300-million-year-old sandstone sourced from the area around Glenmorangie’s Tain distillery.

The public artwork stands two metres high and is just over three metres long, and is two-and-a-half times the size of his previous re-creation of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone, an eighth century Pictish Stone with incredible engravings which was discovered near the Glenmorangie Distillery in Ross-shire. This national icon is on permanent display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.