|Discovery:||first mentioned, Camden, W.|
|History:||The stone was first mentioned in Camden/Gibson/1695. Anon/1862, 156: `Here [in the Llandefaelog-vach churchyard] the Brichmail stone with the warrior still stands in a wall under one of the venerable yew trees.'|
Anon/1872, 383: `The walk was continued thence amid the most charming views to Llandefaelog-vach churchyard, in which exists the remarkable stone, figured and described by Mr. Westwood in the Archaeologia Cambrensis of 1858, p. 306 and here reproduced...The notice given in the Archaeologia (vol. i) by Mr Strange is dated 1769, at which time, `it covered a low wall contiguous to the outside of the south wall of the church'. It seems from this statement to have served as a kind of coping stone. It now stands fixed against the west wall of a mausoleum of the former owners of Penoyre'.
Rhys/1873, 9: `Sept 3. -- I set out in the morning from Brecon to Llandefaelog Fach, and [saw] the stone of Briamail Flou in the wall of the Pennoyre vault'.
Westwood/1876, 58, states that it stood 'in the churchyard of Llandevaelog-fach...[It] is built into the west wall of a small square building erected in the churchyard, a little south of the church, being a mausoleum of the former owners of Penoyre'.
Macalister/1922, 199: `It is desireable that this important stone should be removed from its exposed situation and erected inside the church'.
Macalister/1949, 133, however, notes it as still `standing against the Penoyre vault in the churchyard'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 73, similarly records it as remaining in the churchyard.
|Dimensions:||2.32 x 0.39 x 0.1 (converted from Macalister/1949)|
Nash-Williams/1950, 73: `Churchyard'.
Anon/1872, 384: `Without being removed [from the mausoleum], it is not possible to ascertain whether it was intended to be an erect or recumbent stone'.
Westwood/1876, 58: `early sepulchral incised slab...It is of considerable size, being about 7 feet long, by rather more than 1 foot wide'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 73: `Tall narrow rectangular slab. 90 1/2+" h. x 15" w. x ?" t.'.
|Condition:||complete , some|
Westwood/1876, 57: `it is to be regretted that it is so much obliterated'.
|Crosses:||1: latin; interlace; straight; expanded; plain; none; none; none; n/a|
|Decorations:||figural; geometric ribbon interlace; geometric key pattern; other|
Anon/1872, 383: `The execution of the figure is barbarously rude, while the disproportion between the upper and lowers parts of the body is remarkable'.
Westwood/1876, 58: `It may be described as consisting of four several compartments: (1) the top of the stone, being occupied by an incised ornamental cross, followed by (2) the figure of a warrior, whose right shoulder has been cut away with a portion of the stone, the figure being surrounded by interlaced ribbon-patterns; (3) a square space, bearing an inscription preceded by a cross; and (4) an oblong space, with a double interlaced ribbon-pattern, of which I believe the lower part is cut away...With the exception of the space containing the inscription, the letters of which are incised, the surface of the whole stone is sunk, leaving the ornamental patterns and figure in relief. The incisions forming the design are but of moderate depth, and it is therefore really surprising how well, in so exposed a situation, it has been preserved, withstanding the action of the elements for at least a thousand years.
The cross at the top of the stone is of the calvary form, formed of two parallel raised bands interlaced at the junction of the limbs, the ends of the limbs forming dilated triangular knots, the basal knot being increased in size to give greater apparent support by the band being doubled.
The spaces within the angles formed by the arms of the cross are filled in with interlaced ribbons, which are either doubled or trebled; the middle band of the lower left-hand space appears to have been left entire, instead of being trebled by incision, like the other ribbons in that part of the design.
The warrior in the next compartment is as rude an attempt at delineation as could well be imagined. It is 2 1/2 feet high, with a most ill-shaped head, and disproportionately large left shoulder and small legs. There is no attempt at rounding the limbs, the surface of the stone being left flat, and the parts indicated only by incised lines. In his right hand he bears a thick straight weapon resting on his right shoulder, but of which the upper end has been cut away; in his left hand he also bears a short weapon, slenderer than the other, and which is evidently extended into the ribbon-pattern at his left side. The pattern on the right side of the stone, at the side of the head, is a double interlaced ribbon, which is not quite regular in its lower part; the ornament on the lower part of the compartment to the right of the figure is a modification of the Z-pattern, which bears so great a resemblance to Chinese work. The left-hand side of the figure is occupied with a single interlaced ribbon-pattern, in which independent circles have been introduced to fill up the design. The square space below the figure is surrounded by a narrow cable-like moulding, the upper line being bent upwards, following the position of the feet.
The bottom compartment is occupied by a bold diaper-pattern formed of double interlaced ribbons. The design is irregular at the top right-hand corner, and the bottom has apparently been cut off.
The present stone is almost the only instance occurring in Wales of the figure of the deceased being represented on one of those early slabs, and is valuable, rude as it is, as affording some slight indication of the dress and weapons of a British warrior. It has struck me as possible that the sculptor of this stone might have been led to introduce the figure of the deceased warrior, from the circumstance of the Roman monument in the vicinity, commonly known under the name of the Maen y Morwynion, having full-length figures of the deceased and his wife sculptured upon it'.
Macalister/1922, 199: `Westwood's drawing, though fairly accurate in detail, singularly misses the spirit of this remarkable sculpture. The lost portion at the side of the figure has been replaced; it bears a strangely muddled interlace design'.
Macalister/1949, 133: `It bears the following devices, in order, from top to bottom:---
1. A cross of double bands with triquetra ends; poorly designed interlacements in the cantons: the bottom terminal prolonged strangely to the dexter side.
2. A rudely drawn figure of a warrior, clad in a kirtle reaching to his knees, and holding a spear and a short dagger. On each side of the head there are interlacements. A fragment, containing the shoulder of the figure and the head of the spear, as well as the interlacement, was already broken from the stone in 1769: it has since been replaced...On the dexter side of the lower part of the figure there is an interlacement, on the sinister side a key pattern.
3. A square panel surmounted with a rope moulding, and bearing the inscription.
4. A panel with a simple plait'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 73: `The face is filled with a long narrow panel, partly rounded or coffin-shaped at the top, containing incised or lightly carved decoration disposed vertically: (a) double-ribbon Latin cross with knotted arm-ends (R.A. 262 and 269) (the bottom knot double-beaded), with debased knotwork and other patterns in the upper and lower interspaces, including (i) triple-beaded triquetra-knot (R.A. 485a) (top 1.), (ii) double-beaded ring-knot (R.A. 574) (top r.), (iii) dragonesque creature (?) with back-turned head and body encircled by a triple- beaded ring-twist (bottom 1.). The form of the animal (Pl. LXV, 12) is suggestive of a debased version of the so-called 'Jellinge beast' of Scandinavian art, which was evolved in the later 9th century from the Irish ribbon-animal (p. 202, note 3), and was transplanted to northern England after the Viking conquest of Northumbria towards the end of the 9th century, subsisting there throughout the 10th century. The present version may therefore denote northern influence affecting Brecknockshire in the late 10th century; (iv) double-beaded ring-twist (R.A. 574) embodying the Stafford knot (R.A. 262) (bottom r.); (b) standing bearded (?) male figure, apparently of a warrior, clad in a long sleeveless (?) tunic without girdle, holding a weapon like a club (? or spear) over the r. shoulder with the r. hand and grasping a dagger at the waist in front with the l. hand (Pl. LXXI, 11). In the field to the l. and r. are knotwork and key-patterns, including irregular knotwork (?) (top 1.), double-beaded ring-twists (R.A. 574) embodying the Stafford knot (R.A. 262) (top r.), plain ring-twist (R.A. 574) (bottom 1.), and double-beaded key-pattern (cf. R.A. 926) (bottom r.) ; (c) cable-bordered compartment containing an inscription'.
|Westwood, J.O. (1876):||+BRIAMAIL | FLOU|
Westwood/1876 59 concise discussion
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1949):||+BRIAMAIL | FLOU|
Macalister/1949 133 concise discussion
|Nash-Williams, V.E. (1950):||+BRIAMAIL | FLOU|
(The cross of) Briamail (PN) Flou (PN).
Nash-Williams/1950 74 concise discussion
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; below cross ; panel|
Westwood/1876, 58: `It may be described as consisting of four several compartments...(3) a square space, bearing an inscription preceded by a cross'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 73: `[panel] (c) cable-bordered compartment containing an inscription'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 74: `lightly picked'.
|Date:||950 - 999 (Nash-Williams/1950)|
|Language:||name only (rbook)|
|Ling. Notes:||Westwood/1876, 58: `From its analogy with Brochmael, Dogmael, &c., I suppose the first line of the inscription to record the name of the warrior What the second line may mean must be left to the student of the old British language to decipher.|
 Professor Rhys (Arch. Camb., 1873, p. 77) considers this name as identical with that of Briauail (Liber. Landav., pp. 137, 140, 207, and Briavail, ibid., p. 135 [CISP: these references are to an early edition of LL by Rees.]). Dr. John Jones (Hist. Wales, pp. 46, 310) stated that the tombstone has been considered to be that of Brochwel Ysgythrog, but that from the letters `it is more likely of being the tomb of FIR MAEL, son of Edwal, A.D. 763'; and that the church is dedicated to Maelog ab Caw ab Cawrdaf ab Cradoc Fraichfas, Prince of Brecknock. By Lewis the church is said to be dedicated to St. Tyvaelog'.
|Palaeography:||Westwood/1876, 59: `They are of the minuscule Anglo-Saxon, Britanno-Saxon, or Hiberno-Saxon form, the second letter r being of the long-tailed or cursive p-form. The first letter of the second line is injured, and may possibly be a P instead of a F'.|
Macalister/1949, 133: `[the inscription] (having regard to the size of the space and the position of the letters within it, to say nothing of its unintelligibility as it stands) appears unfinished'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 74: `Round half-uncials'.
Appears clearly legible as all authorities agree on the reading.
Rhys/1873, 9: `Flou must be the etymon of the name Flewyn, as in Llanfflewyn in Anglesey, and possibly the Welshifying of the Latin flavus'.