Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Early Christian memorial stone beside Bleu Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Penzance, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1324 / 50°7'56"N

Longitude: -5.5323 / 5°31'56"W

OS Eastings: 147661.553598

OS Northings: 31793.823001

OS Grid: SW476317

Mapcode National: GBR DXQB.GP0

Mapcode Global: VH12S.2X4V

Entry Name: Early Christian memorial stone beside Bleu Bridge

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1926

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006727

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 38

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Penzance

Built-Up Area: Penzance

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Gulval

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an early Christian memorial stone situated close to a foot bridge called Bleu Bridge beside the Trevaylor Stream. The memorial stone survives as an earthfast granite pillar up to 1.7m high which is inscribed with 'QVENATAVC - IC DINVI FILIVS'. The first name is Irish and the stone stylistically dates to the 5th to 8th centuries.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-424012

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 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. Early Christian memorial stones are 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. There is no clear documentary evidence to suggest the Early Christian memorial stone beside Bleu Bridge has ever been moved so it will have archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, social and religious significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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