Corpus Refs:Macalister/1945:520
Discovery:first mentioned, 1760 Pococke, R.
History:For a detailed discussion of the sources relating to the former locations of the stone, see Craig/1997, 616--7.

The earliest description appears to be contained in a letter of Richard Pococke, Bishop of Meath, written in 1760 but not published till 1887 (Kemp/1887, 17). Therein the stone's location is given as `A little way out of town, towards the isle of Whithern (sic)'. The stone is also mentioned in the First Statistical Account (Davidson/1795, 287) as being between Whithorn and the Isle of Whithorn. By 1863 the stone was standing just south of Enoch farm by the west side of the road leading to the Isle of Whithorn (Mitchell/1872, 579; Stuart/1867, 53), the position in which it is marked on the 1895 25" Ordnance Survey map. The majority of later writers have taken this to be its original position, but Craig/1997, 616, has demonstrated that it was moved here, probably after 1849, from Mains farm after the tenant objected to visitors crossing his farm to view it.

The stone was moved to the Priory Museum, Whithorn in 1889, Dickie/1890, 165.

Geology:Allen & Anderson/1903, 497: 'indurated claystone'.
Dimensions:1.22 x 0.38 x 0.24 (converted from Allen/Anderson/1903/III)
Setting:in display
Location:Whithorn Priory Museum (Cat: 2)
Craig/1997, 617: `the stone is an oblong pillar of rectangular section, damaged on one side. This face is dressed at the top and bottom and on the upper left side, but the area between, adjacent to the decorated face, has been gouged back, leaving a stepped area at the base. The damaged area measures 90cm high.

This damage, which postdates the dressing of the stone, appears to predate the inscription and cross-of-arcs on the adjacent face [pace Mitchell/1872, 579]. The foot of the stone is now stepped outwards on the left edge, due to the damage to the upper part of this face, but the outer circle of the cross, which extends the full width of the stone, is intact on both sides, and the stem of the cross and the outer letters of the inscription are equidistant from both the damaged and undamaged edges of the stone. It is therefore possible, as Macalister suggested [/1936, 320; /1945, 499], that an earlier inscription had been deliberately obliterated on the left face before the cross-of-arcs was carved, but there is no evidence of any surviving lettering.'

The complete stone is illustrated at RCAHMS/1912, fig.109b.

Condition:complete , some
See notes on form.
Crosses:1: arcs; outline; expanded; curved; curved; none; outer curv; pedestal; plain

Radford/Donaldson/1984, 27: `a cross with expanded arms set within a double circle; the cross is formed of four segments of circles which intersect near the centre of the enclosing circle. The right hand line of the top arm of the cross serves as the upright of a capital R. The cross and circle are set on a short stem with a flat base and curved sides. On the stem is cut a capital T; to the right is a short curved line, possibly the bungled setting out of the stem.'

Early authorities (eg. Anderson/1881, Allen/Anderson/1903/111) maintained the cross form was unusual and isolated. This no longer appears to be the case. See Craig/1997, 617, for a discussion of related forms at Whithorn and especially on the Isle of Man.



WHIT2/1/1     Pictures


Anderson, J. (1881):LOCI [S]TI | PETRIAPV |STOLI
Anderson/1881 253 reading only
Allen, R. (1903):LOC STI | PETRIAPV | STOLI
The place of St Peter the Apostle.
Allen/Anderson/1903 496--497 reading only
Macalister, R.A.S. (1936):LOGI || T | PETRIAPV | STOLI
The seal of the lodging of Peter the Apostle.
Macalister/1945 498 reading only
Radford, C. et al. (1984):[L]OCI | PETRI APV |STOLI
The place of Peter the Apostle.
Radford/Donaldson/1984 28 reading only


Position:inc ; broad ; below cross ; undivided
Macalister/1945, 497: `cross and the inscription are chisel-cut, and the technique of both is identical. There is no reason to regard them as other than contemporary'.
Date:600 - 699 (Radford/Donaldson/1984)
Language:Latin (rcaps)
Ling. Notes:Radford/Donaldson/1984, 28: `A locus is a place, possibly a cemetery, with perhaps a small oratory, dedicated to God in honour of a saint'.
Palaeography:Radford/Donaldson/1984, 28: `The letters are straggling and uneven, with forked serifs and the uprights of the P and R rising above the top of the loops. This type of letter belongs to Merovingian Gaul, where it went out of fashion during the eighth century; it is very rare in the British Isles'.

Macalister/1945, 498: `The forked serifs are very conspicuous in all the letters, even including the R which turns the cross into a chi-rho device: with one exception. There are no serifs on the mark which has been read as a second I, on the right-hand side of the cross-stem. For this reason, and having regard to the conspicuous slope which it shows, and in which it contrasts with the other Is in the inscription, I question whether it was a letter at all: I take it to be a false start, made when carving the right-hand side of the cross-stem...The mark is visibly shallower than the rest of the carving, showing that it was abandoned soon after it was begun...[t]he engraver obviously left out the R, and had to squeeze it in after his work was finished'.

Early drawings record the initial `L', Stuart/1867, Plate lxxvii.2; Mitchell/1872, Fig.2, but this had already flaked off before the stone was moved in 1889 (Harper/1876, 247).

Macalister/1945, 498: `The O has been slightly damaged by a flake as well as the upright of the preceding L...The horizontal stroke of the L remains, though it has to be looked for, running beneath the O'.

Carving errors:0