At Burghead on the Moray Firth, the remains of an important Pictish Fort are to be found on the headland. In the past they were often wrongly said to have been Roman ruins.
Burghead was a major Pictish centre. Excavations in the nineteenth century suggested that the fort complex was erected around 400AD and continued in existence until it was destroyed by fire in either the ninth or tenth centuries.
It is believed that the Vikings under Sigurd the Powerful captured the fort in 884AD. It was an attractive location for them with both natural defences and easy access to the sea.
In the early nineteenth century some thirty 'Bull Stones' were excavated at Burghead's Pictish Fort. They are the only ones of their kind and represent beautiful examples of Pictish carvings.
Only six remain: two at the headland museum in Burghead, two in Elgin Museum, one in the National Museum of Scotland and one in the British Museum in London.
The Burghead Bull. Copyright: The British Museum.
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