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An early Christian memorial stone in St Francis churchyard, Indian Queens

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: An early Christian memorial stone in St Francis churchyard, Indian Queens

List entry Number: 1016367


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Enoder

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 31-Mar-1930

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30423

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 has survived reasonably well, despite some damage from its former reuse as a gatepost. Its inscription is mostly complete, though very worn. The inscription itself is 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 in St Francis churchyard, Indian Queens. The memorial stone survives as an upright granite shaft measuring 1.65m in overall height. The rectangular section shaft measures 0.5m wide at the base tapering to 0.3m at the top, and is 0.33m thick at the base tapering to 0.28m at the top; the broader faces are oriented north-south. This stone bears an incised inscription in one line running down its north face. The inscription is in Latin, and has been read as `RVANI HIC IACIT' , or `MAGLI HIC'. The inscription is very worn and virtually indecipherable. The use of an upright shaft or stone with a simple Latin inscription suggests a fifth/sixth century to 11th century date for this memorial stone. Also on the north face are two holes: one is 1.04m above ground level, and is 0.05m in diameter and 0.09m deep; the other is 0.26m above ground level and is filled with lead, with the remains of an iron gate fitting in it. Both these holes indicate that the memorial stone was used as a gatepost at some time in the past. This memorial stone was first recorded by the antiquarian, Borlase in 1754 as "about four miles east of Michel", approximately 7km south west of Indian Queens. By 1872 the stone had been moved to the Indian Queens Inn, where the historian Henderson stated it had marked the parish boundary between St Enoder and St Columb. In the 1930s the road beside the stone was widened, leaving the stone as an obstruction on the pathway and in danger of damage, so in 1939 it was moved to its present location in St Francis churchyard. The metalled surface of the footpath to the north of the early Christian memorial stone where it falls within its protective margin, is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Okasha, E, Corpus of Early Christian Inscribed Stones of South-west Britain, (1993)
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.21080,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 85/95; Pathfinder 1353 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 91625 59130


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Sep-2018 at 03:22:52.

End of official listing