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An early Christian memorial stone 380m south east of Worthyvale Manor

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 380m south east of Worthyvale Manor

List entry Number: 1018701


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


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Forrabury and Minster

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31849

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 380m south east of Worthyvale Manor has survived well with its inscription complete. It is one of only six memorial stones in south west England to bear an inscription not only in Latin but also in ogham script. 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, known as King Arthur's Tomb, situated on the west bank of the River Camel to the north of Slaughterbridge. The early Christian memorial stone survives as a granite shaft lying on the ground with the inscription facing upwards. The memorial stone measures 2.91m long by 0.67m wide and is 0.36m thick. The inscription, which is incised deeply into the stone and is clearly visible, is in Latin, incised in an early medieval insular form of script derived from Roman style capitals. The inscription is incised in two lines and has been read as `LATINI IC IACIT FILIUS MA RI' which translates as `the stone of Latinus here lies the son of Ma' or `the body of Latinus lies here, son of Ma'. There is another inscription on the north side of this stone incised in an early medieval script of Irish origin called `ogham', which occurs on Christian monuments of the fifth and sixth centuries AD. The ogham inscription, whose lettering is represented entirely by short incised lines in varying multiples and at various angles, has been read as `NI', it is very worn and incomplete. The use of inscriptions in both Latin and ogham, and the formula employed in the Latin inscription and the style of the lettering combine to suggest a fifth/sixth century to eighth century date. This memorial stone was first recorded in 1602 by the historian Carew as bearing Arthur's name. It was again mentioned in the 18th century as having been used as a footbridge at Worthyvale. It was removed from being a footbridge around 1754 and placed in its present location as a garden feature. The ogham inscription was first recorded in 1875.

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 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.2240.1,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 08/18: Pathfinder Series 1325 Source Date: 1986 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SX 10916 85690


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1018701 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 07:42:25.

End of official listing