We know most about the Picts from the carvings they left from the period between their conversion in about 650 to their eventual assimilation into Alba in around 1000. These can be seen dotted spectacularly across much of the eastern side of Scotland north of the River Forth. And the largest single collection of Pictish Carved Stones in Scotland is gathered together in the Museum in the old schoolhouse in the village of Meigle, Perthshire.
Meigle was a centre of some importance in the Pictish world, and was possibly associated with King Pherath (or Uurad) who ruled Pictland from 839 to 842. Whatever the reason for their being concentrated here, most of the stones in the Museum came originally from the churchyard behind the old schoolhouse.
Meigle Church as seen today dates back only to the 1870s. A series of earlier churches had been built on the same spot, to avoid disturbing the graves. When the church built in 1793 burned down in on 28 March 1869, at least one stone stored inside was destroyed. But other previously unknown Pictish stones that had been built into the structure of the earlier church(es) emerged during the rebuilding process.