Kilmalkedar Alphabet Stone

SMR: KE042-026003-
Type: Cross Inscribed
Townland: Cill MaoilchéadarMaoilchéadar's Church



This Early Christian and Medieval ecclesiastical complex at Kilmalkedar (KE042-026----) lies at the foot of the W slopes of Reenconnell hill, overlooking Smerwick Harbour.
The Reenconnell ridge peaks at 907 feet/276m to NE of the site and the area around is sheltered on its N and S sides by spurs of this hill. Now erected on a modern base beside the chancel arch of the church, this pillar stone stands 1.22m high but is broken across the top.
The W side of the stone is inscribed with the invocation DNI, a contraction of Domini, and with a later inscription consisting of the Latin alphabet in half-uncial script. On the basis of the epigraphy, a date in the 2nd half of the 6th century has been suggested for the latter (Bieler 1949, 271).
The S face is inscribed with a Latin cross with scrolled terminals. Above this a small part of a cross-in-circle motif is visible, the cross probably having similar scrolled terminals to the one beneath. Only the scrolled terminal and stem of the cross on the N face survive.


The above description is derived from J. Cuppage, ‘Corca Dhuibhne. Dingle Peninsula archaeological survey. Ballyferriter. Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne’ (1986), no. 855.

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