Ancient Monuments

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

A Scheduled Monument in St. Enoder, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.395 / 50°23'42"N

Longitude: -4.9331 / 4°55'59"W

OS Eastings: 191625.300498

OS Northings: 59130.321822

OS Grid: SW916591

Mapcode National: GBR ZN.89F8

Mapcode Global: FRA 08K0.1ZL

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

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1930

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016367

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30423

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Enoder

Built-Up Area: Indian Queens

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Enoder

Church of England Diocese: Truro


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.

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

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 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

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.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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