Early Medieval Stones

This early medieval stone has a cross carved in each of its five visible faces. It would have been set in the ground and stood 1m high. The stone was found broken and used as building material in the Tateetra souterrain. The stone's use as an open-air altar (or mensa) is possible since it is unlikely to have been stolen from a church. The Ogham 'grafiti' on one face reads 'T N'. The stone could have been associated with a Christian blessing of the obviously pagan site of Balregan.

The graffiti 'T N' could have been scratched by someone claiming the lands in which the cross-inscribed stone was placed.

This second cross-inscribed stone was also re-used as building material for the Tateetra souterrain. It is too big to be a grave slab and is probably a standing marker stone. There is likely to have been a painted image or text on the flat face. The inscribed cross may indicate this stone was placed at the boundary of an early medieval Ecclesiastic estate. A likely location for an ecclesiastic site would be somewhere near Balregan Castle.

ASI: Can you imagine what was shown on the Tateetra 'marker' stone?

Options could include:

  • A Saint or station of the Cross
  • An interlaced animal or geometric design
  • A 'Keep Out' or 'Welcome' sign
  • A direction 'This way to...'
  • Your own idea of open-air church.