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Caratacus Stone

Hob Uid: 35777
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Winsford
Grid Ref : SS8897033550
Summary : An inscribed early Christian memorial stone known as the Caractacus Stone. It is a free-standing, roughly wedge-shaped block with an incised inscription on the east face. Further text on this or the other faces may have weathered away. The surviving text is in Latin and reads 'CARAACI' and 'NEPVS'. This has been translated to mean 'kinsman of Caratacus' and it is generally accepted that the stone was erected as a memorial to someone claiming descent from Caratacus.
More information : [SS 88973356] Caratacus Stone [NR] (1)

Inscribed stone on Winsford Hill, 3 ft 11.5 ins in height, bears
three lines of writing running vertically downwards. The first line
has been chipped away, apparently with intention. The inscription
reads: ......... S ........ CARAACI NEPVS.
The stroke over the second A is not in contact with the letter and
the character should not be taken at AT ligatured. The name is
CARANACI, not CARATACI. (See illustration) (2)

An inscribed stone marking the burial place, certainly of a Christian and on which the lettering of the 6th century, reads CARATICI NEPUS (the Grandson of Caraticus). (3)

Scheduled. (4)

A roof has been erected over the stone. The inscription CARAACI NEPVS is quite clear but there is no indication of the first line of
lettering postulated by Macalister. (See GP AO/65/184/6). (5)

Additional Bibliography. (6 - 17)

SS 88973355. A memorial stone, now known as the Caratacus Stone, with a 6th-century type inscription. It is called Langeston in the 13th-century Forest Perambulations. The stone is 1.2m high and 0.3m wide with a slight lean to the south-south-west. The inscription was discovered in 1890 and a shelter was erected around it in 1906. The stone was removed in 1937, when a small excavation showed there to be no grave. It was subsequently cemented back into position (18).

An inscribed stone, now known as the Caratacus Stone, is as described by authority 18. It lies on the southeastern edge of Winsford Hill on the edge of a series of trackways associated with medieval and post medieval routes across Winsford Hill. The inscription faces away from the trackways.

The inscription, in debased Latin writing of 6th century date, is on the eastern face of the stone. The letters are about 9cm high. It reads "CARAACI NEPVS", the N is reversed. This means either the grandson, nephew or descendent of Caratacus. Authority 2 suggests that a further line of writing existed, above CARAACI, but there is no evidence for this, in fact this area has been subject to weathering. Two other letters, "R" "G", are carved faintly beneath "NEPVS", on a different alignment. These letters are more recent graffiti. The western face of the stone is badly weathered, and part of the top has been recently repaired.

The construction of the shelter, built of local materials in 1906, was authorized by Sir Thomas Acland who leased Winsford hill to the National Trust for 500 years in 1918 (19).

The stone is first mentioned in a perambulation of the boundaries of the Royal Forest of Exmoor, dating from 1219, when it was known as the Langeston (20).

SS 88973355. Inscribed early Christian memorial stone known as the Caratacus stone. Scheduled. (21)

Full description of the stone and discussion of the text. (22)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum
Source details : Corpus Inscript Insul Celt 1 1945 476-8 illust (R A S Macalister)
Page(s) : 476-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 11
Source : The archaeology of Somerset
Source details : The Arch of Somer, The County Arch. Series 1931 257 (D P Dobson)
Page(s) : 257
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Somerset: volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 369
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 13
Source : South-West England, 3500BC-AD600
Source details :
Page(s) : 159,162,244
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 166
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 83, 1937
Source Number : 15
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details :
Page(s) : 482
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 42, 1910
Source Number : 16
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 18-19
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 93, 1947
Source Number : 17
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 32-3
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 128, 1984
Source Number : 18
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 06-DEC-1989, IS Sainsbury.
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Source Number : 19
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Riley H 24-JUL-1997 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 20
Source : The history of the Forest of Exmoor
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details :
Page(s) : 230
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 84, 1952
Source Number : 21
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 12-NOV-2003
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Source Number : 22
Source : Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of south-west Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 328-331
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ancient monuments in England and Wales : list prepared by the Ministry of Works, corrected to 31st December 1960
Source details : AMs Eng & Wales 1961 83
Page(s) : 83
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 19-AUG-65
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Source Number : 6
Source : The archaeology of south west Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 172,270
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Source Number : 7
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 82-87
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 36, 1890
Source Number : 8
Source : Archaeologia Cambrensis
Source details : Arch Camb (R A S Macalister)
Page(s) : 193-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : XXXVIII
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 64
Source Number : 10
Source : Archaeologia Cambrensis
Source details : Arch Camb 8 (5th series) (Prof J Rhys)
Page(s) : 29-32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Inscribed Stone
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 34225
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 37
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 35713
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 99/01399
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 83 SE 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 83 SE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-08-19
End Date : 1965-08-19