EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

FER-002. Killadeas Carved Stone Sculpture

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Description: Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record Number: FER 192:001. A carved stone sculpture, known as the 'bishop's stone', w: 0.39 x h: 1.05x d: 0.23 (converted from Macalister 1949, 123). Upon one of its narrow edges, a figure with a grotesque head in relief, closely akin to the famous series on White Island in the same county. The head is intact, but the body has been completely chiselled away, a panel of interlacements now filling the space which it occupied...Thereafter...adpated as the monument of an ecclesiastic, who was represented by a figure holding a crozier and a bell, cut on one of the broad sides of the stone. Though the figure is crude, the sculptor has succeeded in investing it with a real vitality: the mincing gait of the subject is well caught. Traces of an inscription may be detected upon the garment of the figure (Macalister 1949, 123; NISMR file; image below provided by Megalithic Ireland).
Text: The incised inscription is very worn and uncertain but appears to run vertically upwards on the back of the figure (Macalister 1949, 123).
Letters: The entry in the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project database notes that the inscription appears to contain a majuscule R and a half-uncial B.

Date: Unknown.

Findspot: Macalister (1949, 123) states that the stone was found within the cemetery of the parish church of Killadeas, and that it was first published by Lady D. Lowry-Corry in 1935. The site is described by NISMR database as follows: A modern church and graveyard now occupy an earlier site (Monasticon Hibernicum Database). N of the modern church are three sides of an earlier rectangular graveyard, orientated NNW-SSE. It contains many C18th gravestones and also undecorated grave-markers, some of which could be Early Christian. According to Lowry-Corry, the original church site is an a hollow N of the graveyard on the other side of the road, but there are now no visible remains of it. In the graveyard are four carved stones, possibly dating to C9-11th.
Original location: Killadeas (Cill Chéile Dé), townland of Rockfield, Co. Fermanagh, 54.433987, -7.683124.

Last recorded location: Findspot








Several persons are recorded in the Annals of Ulster in the 8th and 9th centuries with the name Robartach, though none that appear to be from this area.

Bibliography: Lowry-Corry 1935, 24-26 ; Macalister 1949, 123, no.959
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