They have been a fixture of a Scottish village for centuries, prompting intrigue as to who erected them and why.
For generations, people in the Renfrewshire community of Inchinnan have assumed that the burial stones in the grounds of their parish church were a legacy from medieval times.
But a new analysis of the ancient artefacts using the latest imaging techniques has found that they are several centuries older than first thought.
It is believed they were used to mark the final resting place of prominent figures from the long-lost kingdom of Strathclyde, a historically significant yet poorly documented stronghold which reached its zenith as the Vikings were waging bloody raids on Scotland.
Until now, historians believed the three burial stones – long slabs featuring various carvings – dated back to around the 12th century.
They originally came from the long-demolished All Hallows Church, itself a replacement of the earlier Inchinnan Old Parish Church, which was active in medieval times and dedicated to St Conval, who is thought to have established a monastery near the site around AD 600.
• Full story at The Scotsman.