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KING DONIERTS STONE AND OTHER HALF STONE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  OTHER HALF STONE, DONIERT STONE
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The site known as 'King Doniert's Stone' comprising two late 9th century granite cross-shaft fragments and an underground passage and chamber. The fragments stand in an enclosure on the south side of the road from St Cleer to Redgate, and are the only surviving examples of 9th century stone crosses in Cornwall. They overlook the River Fowey, and the site is thought to mark the line of an ancient ridgeway which ran over the moors. The early Chirstian missionaries are thought to have set up wooden crosses in the places where they preached. Over time these sites became sanctified, and stone crosses replaced the wooden ones. The cross shafts are rectangular and situated about a metre apart. The northern cross, termed the 'Doniert Stone' is 1.37 metres high with panels of interlace decoration on three sides and an inscription in lower case cursive script on the east face 'doniert rogavit pro anima'. The inscription is thought to commemorate the local ruler, son of Caraduc, King of Cornwall. Doniert is mentioned in the early Welsh chronicle 'Annales Cambriae', as the king of Dumnonia called Dumgarth (or Dwingarth). He is recorded as having drowned in the sea in about AD 875. The Doniert Stone is one of only two inscribed stones bearing the name of a Cornish king, and the only one featuring a character known also from documentary sources. The in situ southern cross ('Other Half Stone'), is 2.1 metres high with a panel of interlace decoration on the east face. The Doniert Stone was re-erected in 1849 after lying, since about 1685, in an open pit near the foot of the southern stone. The rock-cut chamber beneath the site was found in 1849 and excavated in 1932. It begins as a passage to the south east of the crosses, turns into a tunnel and terminates as a cruciform chamber beneath the crosses. It has been interpreted as Early Iron Age prospective tin mining or a subterranean oratory. The site is managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust and in the care of English Heritage.

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