Adrian here, with some pretty amazing news from the St Serf’s Churchyard site in Dunning village which I’m directing. We’ve been looking for traces of the medieval churchyard boundary, but frustratingly, all our finds have been pre- or post-medieval. We have certainly clipped a ditch feature in our trench, but it seems severely truncated by later activity. So we opened a second smaller trench along the churchyard wall, which did not look terribly promising at first. After cleaning off the topsoil, we revealed the foundations of a large but not terribly old looking building, with horrible clay packing on either side which Meggen and Nicola spent all day bashing out.
After a good rain this morning, the site looked less inviting than ever. But I noticed among the clay an odd-looking stone, or possibly a stamped modern brick. Upon closer inspection, this was no brick – it was a delicately carved chunk of stone!
This chunk is nothing less than corner of a Pictish cross slab, bearing what looks like a saltire-cross key pattern interlace like that found on numerous Pictish crosses in Perthshire, including the Dupplin Cross from Forteviot, now housed just across the wall in St Serf’s Church! Its size means it was from a much smaller monument than that, and it comes from modern demolition layers, meaning it may have been reused in the building revealed in trench 02. But this is basically the greatest thing I’ll ever find, and I should probably retire right now.