EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

GAL-006. Templebrecan 6: Cross Carved Pillar

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: GA110-023024-. A large, roughly rectangular cross carved pillar, presumably of local limestone (w: 0.49 x h: 1.34x d: 0.18) bearing an incised two-line ringed Latin cross with a circular centre and roughly T-shaped terminals. Below this a second transom on the shaft ends with circular terminals.
Text: The inscription is almost illegible and runs just underneath the ringed cross. The cross and the inscription have been executed by pocking with a small tool, probably a point and have been neatly and precisely worked (Higgins 1987, 363).
Letters: The lettering is half-uncial but the letters are too indistinct and the reading too uncertain to say much more (Higgins 1987, 363).

Date: Tenth or eleventh century A.D.?

Findspot: First mentioned in 1878 by Petrie (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project). This is one of four cross slabs (see also GA110-023021-, GA110-023022- and GA110-023023-) now associated with St Brecan’s Grave (GA110-023009-) (Archaeology.ie). St Brecan’s Grave is one of five leabaí or grave-plots (see also GA110-023001-, GA110-023002-, GA110-023003- and GA110-023005-) associated with Teampall Bhreacáin ['Breacán's church'] (GA110-010001-) and Teampall an Phoill (GA110-010003-) [part of a wider ecclesiastical complex known as na Seacht dTeampaill 'the Seven Churches']. The multiple grave plot is labelled ‘St Brecan’s Grave’ by Robinson (1980). However, Waddell (1973, 26) equates the grave with Leaba Bhreacáin (GA110-023001-). It consists of a rectangular area (5m NNE-SSW; 2m NNW-SSE) bounded by a kerb of thin limestone slabs. The enclosed area is further subdivided into five slab-covered graves (Archaeology.ie; Waddell 1973, 5-27; Monasticon Hibernicum Database).
Original location: Templebrecan (Teampall Bhreacáin), in the townland of Onaght (Eoghanacht), Inishmore (Árainn), Co. Galway, 53.145874, -9.777290.

Last recorded location: At the findspot, St Brecan’s Grave, standing against its W edge, the northernmost example (Archaeology.ie).





1: Petrie (1878, 22, Plate XV): CRONMAOL or CRONMAEL


of Cruindmáel?


The reading followed here is by Higgins (1987), which differs from Petrie's reading and drawing, which do not agree with each other. The text would appear to simply contain a personal name, presumably Cruindmáel (a compound of cruind 'round, circular' and máel 'crop-headed, shorn, tonsured'). The expected Old Irish genitive of this name would be Cruindmaíl. CRONMAOIL could be a later (Middle Irish) spelling of this form.

Bibliography: Higgins 1987, vol. 2, 363, no.85 ; Macalister 1949, 7, no.536 ; Petrie 1878, vol. 2, 22, Plate XV ; Waddell 1973, 21, no.14
Text constituted from:



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