The ruins of the Chapel of St Fergus at Dyce stand on a bluff on the south side of the River Don looking north over the small village of Cothall. Here you find the Dyce Symbol Stones, two large and several smaller Pictish stones, displayed in a shelter inside the western end of the chapel.
Finding the chapel and the stones is not an easy task, though there are signposts to help. The starting point is a minor road that curves around the north end of Aberdeen Airport, and from here you take a series of ever more minor roads. When you arrive, it feels almost like you are on an island, with the river cutting you off from the north and east, and the railway and industrial development from the south and west. But it is worth the effort when you arrive: the Chapel of St Fergus is an oasis of calm
The Chapel of St Fergus itself dates back to the 1200s, though most of the shell you see today owes more to later renovation and rebuilding, and more recent consolidation. Perhaps the main item of interest stands outside the west door, a low stone with a semi-circular hollowed-out top. Is it what remains of a broken font? A local story says it is a seat in which those who had broken church laws were compelled to sit as the congregation filed past.
Inside the chapel a slate-roofed shelter is home to the Dyce Symbol Stones. The large stone to the right of the door as you look at them, known as Dyce 1, probably dates back to the 500s. It carries two large Pictish symbols, a "beast", and a geometrical pattern known as a double disc and Z-rod. The significance of these patterns - if any - has never been resolved. The large stone to the left of the door, Dyce 2, may have been carved up to three hundred years later than Dyce 1, and dates back to the mid 800s. The main carving is of an elaborately patterned cross, around the base of which are a series of Pictish patterns.
Dyce 2 has been displayed so you can clearly see the side nearest the door. This contains a length of Ogham script, lettering formed by straight lines carved either side of a central line. The images on this page show the Ogham script being imaged by laser by Historic Environment Scotland, part of the continuing efforts to better understand these still mysterious stones.