Portmahomack: Monastery of the Picts

By Martin Carver | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Serving new masters

FIRE AND THE SWORD

The brunt of the attack was borne at the heart of the monastery, on the hill and in the adjacent workshops, the parts nearest the sea. Over the workshops was laid a mantle of multi-coloured deposits – white, pink, red, orange, black, the garish remains of straw, heather and timber consumed by fire at high temperature. The blanket of burning lay over the hearths, over the turf walls, over the floors of the vellum-workers’ hall, into the tawing tank and it ran up in a scraggly carpet over the retaining walls of the pool. It was continuous, excepting only where it had been cut away by later features (see Plate 8a). This fire might have been an accident, since accidents do happen, especially in workshops with hearths, but the next event, hard

Fig. 7.1Excavators defining the pebble Road 2.

-136-

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Portmahomack: Monastery of the Picts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vi
  • Plates ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Part 1 - Exploring 1
  • Chapter 1 - Welcome to Portmahomack 3
  • Chapter 2 - Designing the Expedition 16
  • Chapter 3 - What We Found 37
  • Part 2 - Age of Fame 71
  • Chapter 4 - The Monks Arrive 73
  • Chapter 5 - Carvers and Thinkers 94
  • Chapter 6 - Architects and Artisans 118
  • Chapter 7 - Serving New Masters 136
  • Part 3 - Legacy 149
  • Chapter 8 - Aftermath- St Colman’s Church 151
  • Chapter 9 - Ritual Landscape, with Portage 173
  • Chapter 10 - A Holy Place in History 191
  • Digest of Evidence 203
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 235
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