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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
A survey by Tim Blackie and Colin Macaulay

Reference Number: SSC/2

Name: Sandside 1

Description: Class 1 Symbol Stone

Present Location: Sandside House (private)

Original Location: Sandside Links
  NC 9597 6522
Other Documentation: BEAT pll
  ECMS iii pp29-30
  IMCC No.407
Dimensions: Length 4 feet 8 inches
  Breadth 1 foot 11 inches
  Width 4 inches

Notes: This handsome stone was discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century in a locality which bears many traces of ancient settlement. The stone was at first used to cover a mill lade before being removed to the house in 1889. At present it is placed in an upside-down position against a wall at the east side of the house, along with the two stones Reference Numbers SSC/18 and SSC/25 in this survey. Intending visitors should note that this is a private residence and that permission should be obtained before viewing the stones from Sandside Estate. This is a block of local sandstone incised on one side with three boldly executed symbols. Pictish symbols seem normally to occur in multiples of two, but the 'mirror-and- comb' often appears as a third symbol. The uppermost symbol may well have had some special local significance; of the four known examples, three were found in modern-day Caithness (see entries for Reference Numbers SSC/3 and SSC/1O). The fourth was discovered at Wester Balblair, near Cromarty. It is said that a former worker on the estate was once heard to remark that he knew of a site nearby where several such stones were to be found, but alas this information seems to have gone to the grave with this gentleman.