King Doniert's Stone, Cornwall


The stones in their grassy, walled enclosure
Two sections of memorial stones from the 9th century, one bearing an inscription, referencing the last known king of Cornwall. In rural land on the south edge of Bodmin Moor
Along the road between Dobwalls and Upton Cross; PL14 6EG
King Doniert's Stone is a fragment, the base, of a stone cross from the ninth century, beside a second monumental stone of similar age, set on a minor summit amongst fields along the south edge of Bodmin Moor - a quiet, rural, rather remote and evocative location.

The king referred to is believed to be Dungarth who died (drowned) around the year 875. He was the last known king of Cornwall; Doniert is the Latin spelling. Very little is known of his life, or indeed of the wider history of this area at this time.

The granite stones are managed by English Heritage, and are open at all times; parking is in a layby along a narrow lane, the road between Dobwalls and Upton Cross, along which are several other sites of interest including Golitha falls and the Hurlers Stone circles.

The Stones

It is unclear whether the two stones were originally part of the same structure, but most likely they were separate. King Doniert's Stone, 4.5 feet high, bears an inscription of 'Doniert Rogavit pro anima', on its east face, while the remaining three sides are a decorated with an interlaced pattern. The other stone, taller (7 feet) and narrower, bears no inscription instead, on just one face, a different interlaced pattern. Mid 19th century excavations uncovered a cross-shaped vault and connected passage beneath the stones, the top around 8 feet below the surface; this may be associated with the stones in some way, though another theory is that the passages are merely a remnant of an ancient tin mine.