This Journey embraces Angus and what was formerly Kincardineshire- more popularly the Mearns. Though we have referred frequently to ‘Picts’ and ‘Pictish’ throughout northern and eastern Scotland, Angus and the Mearns contain an unparalleled concentration of Pictish monuments and remains, in particular the justly celebrated carved slabs and crosses. The mystery element arises because after the union of the Picts and Scots, the Pictish language lost out to the greater prestige of the Irish-Scots Gaelic tradition, and never made the grade as a written tongue, so disappearing.
As for religion, this region is also rich in prehistoric remains, but Christianity was embraced early and expressed through Pictish culture with elaboration and conviction. This laid the foundations of a rich medieval church culture, which in turn became the Presbyterian parish system though with notable centres of Episcopal resistance. Each period built on the next leaving an unrivalled sequence of sites and buildings to be explored today. Local culture in its modern Scots form is marked by reserve and understatement – nothing it seems is more Pictish than the Scots, or more Scottish than the Picts.