Research Question n. 001

Sally Gall, an Interpretation Assistant at St. Mary’s Church, Grandtully, Scotland, has written to request the assistance of members of the Society in interpreting some images painted on the ceiling of the church. She is currently working on a new piece of hand-held interpre­tation (or “biffbat”) for the church, and has asked that we circulate some photographs in the hope that members of the Society might be able to shed some light on whom some of the painted figures are intended to represent. The situation is complicated by the fact that restoration of the ceiling may have changed or obscured some of the original symbols.

Ms Gall advises that the biffbat currently onsite is “very much based on A. Graham’s article in the Pro­ceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 77 (1942-3).” The article does not comment on some of the roundels, however. In roundel 25, for example, there’s a man with a branch, an hourglass and a flaming heart. I don’t know if you or any of your members might be able to advise us on what some of these representations might mean?
Ms Gall has provided some images of a few of the mys­tery roundels, and would be grateful for any help members of the Society for Emblem Studies could give her. The images can be found in the gallery below (click to expand):



Ms Gall has close-up photographs of all of the roundels, and can provide them to any member of the Society who would like to see them at all. Please contact her directly at <> if you have questions or can provide advice to her. You can also use the space for comments below to discuss it further.


Current Biffbat


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