The Ogham Stones of Cornwall, St Endellion

There are roughly 400 known ogham inscriptions on stone monuments scattered around the Irish and Celtic Sea, the bulk of them dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. Their language is predominantly Primitive Irish, but a few examples record fragments of the Pictish language (Pictish is the extinct language, or dialect, spoken by the Picts an ancient celtic tribe living in modern day Scotland) Ogham itself is an Early Medieval form of alphabet or cipher, sometimes known as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet”.

On a grass island at a junction about 1.5 km from St Endellion on the road to Port Quin is the stone that is known as the St Endellion Ogham stone. The stone was first recorded in 1753 by James Tregeare in a manuscript account of the Parish of Endellion which shows details of the stone and the engravings on it. Sometime between 1821 and 1873 the stone was moved to Doyden Head near Port Quin, where it was subject to severe weathering, but in 1932 it was bought back to its original location by the road between Roscarrock and St Endellion Church, where it still stands. The stone is heavily worn and covered with lichen, and I could see a trace of  the chi-rho cross but not of the Latin inscription. There was also no evidence of an Ogham inscription.

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