Early Christian memorial stone and wayside cross in St Clement's churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015459

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Sep-1996


Ordnance survey map of Early Christian memorial stone and wayside cross in St Clement's churchyard
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015459 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 18:17:12.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Clement

National Grid Reference: SW 85067 43866


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Early Christian memorial stones are inscribed free-standing stones commemorating named individuals and dating to the early medieval period (c.AD 400-1100). The stones are erect, roughly dressed or undressed slabs, bearing incised inscriptions, usually set in one or more vertical lines down one face of the slab, although in four examples the text runs horizontally across the slab. All except two recorded texts are in Latin and, depending on their date, may be inscribed in a script of Romanised capitals or an insular form of lower case lettering called miniscules, or a mixture of the two. Six stones also have inscriptions in an Irish script called ogham. Most inscriptions are simple, bearing a personal name and often stating a family relationship, such as `filii' (son of), to another personal name. Fourteen stones contain elements of the simple inscriptions within a longer, complex inscriptive formula, often including the phrase `hic iacet' (here lies). Additional decoration is found on very few stones and usually comprises a cross within a circle. Early examples, prior to the eighth century AD, may bear an early Christian symbol called a Chi Rho monogram, compounding the first two Greek letters of the name `Christ'. Early Christian memorial stones are largely restricted to areas which retained Celtic traditions during the early medieval period, with at least 139 recorded from Wales. In England, they are almost entirely confined to the south-west peninsula; of the 56 recorded examples, 37 occur in Cornwall, 11 in Devon, a group of 5 in Dorset, and single examples in Somerset, Hampshire and Shropshire. As a very rare and diverse class of monument important for our understanding of the social organisation and the development of literacy and Christianity during the early medieval period, all surviving groundfast examples of early Christian memorial stones are considered worthy of protection.

The early Christian memorial stone in St Clement's churchyard has survived well. It is a good example of its class, and is unusual in that it also bears a later inscription, and the top of the stone was carved to form a medieval wayside cross. This stone has recieved mention in regional reviews on the nature of early Christianity. The inscriptions are of importance from a period generally lacking in such historical references.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes an early Christian memorial stone, also known as the `Ignioc Stone', with a medieval wayside cross carved on the top, situated within the churchyard at St Clement on the River Tresillian in the south of Cornwall. The early Christian memorial stone, which is Listed Grade II*, survives as an upright granite shaft 2.77m high with principal faces orientated north-south. The memorial stone measures 0.4m wide and is 0.38m thick at the base tapering to 0.28m at the top. The west side of the stone narrows to 0.26m wide at 1.4m above ground level, where the stone has been fractured. On the south face 1.4m above ground level is a 0.05m diameter cement filled hole with a lump of iron embedded in it, the remains of a gate fitting, evidence of its former reuse as a gatepost. The south face of the memorial stone displays two inscriptions, the lower one runs down the centre of the stone and reads in large capitals `VITALI FILI TORRICI' which translates as Vitalus son of Torricus. The formula employed in the Latin inscription and the style of the lettering combine to suggest a late sixth century to early seventh century date for this memorial stone. The other, probably later inscription is inscribed in smaller letters on the upper part of the south face, and reads `IGNIOC' a personal name. This inscription may have been added when the cross head was carved on the stone. Both inscriptions are clearly visible. It has been stated that the stone had an inscription in Ogham script down each side. Ogham is a script based on the Latin alphabet and formed of straight strokes. The inscription is believed to have read `Vitali Maqvi' on the west side and `Torrici' on the east side; it is no longer visible. Above the Ignioc inscription a medieval wayside cross head has been carved on both principal faces of the stone. Each face bears an equal limbed cross with a bead around the outer edge of the head; the limbs of the cross are slightly splayed at the ends and extend across the bead. The first record of this early Christian memorial stone was in 1754 when the local antiquarian Borlase recorded it in use as a gatepost in the vicarage grounds. It is believed that the memorial stone originally stood in a field close to the churchyard known as `The Sanctuaries'. The stone was removed from the vicarage grounds in 1938 and re-erected in its present position in the churchyard. There is a plaque in front of the stone inscribed `The Ignioc Stone First scheduled as a national monument 22 March 1932 when it stood in the vicarage drive from which it was removed and re-erected here 8 November 1938. Re-scheduled 12 January 1939'. The memorial slabs to the north west, north and east of the early Christian memorial stone, the brick edged flower bed to the west and the gravel surface of the footpath passing to the south of the memorial stone are excluded from the scheduling where they fall within the stone's protective margin, but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 29203

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bampfield, GC, St Clement, the Church of Moresk
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Pearce, S M, The Kingdom of Dumnonia, (1978)
Pearce, S M, The Kingdom of Dumnonia, (1978)
Pearce, S M, The Kingdom of Dumnonia, (1978)
Ralegh Radford, CA, The Early Christian Inscriptions of Dumnonia, (1975)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 22622.1,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 74/84; Pathfinder Series 1360 Source Date: 1977 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing