Discovered shortly before 1833 1 in Cae Maen Hir, about 150 yds. N. of Tir-gwyn. They formed the sides of a grave aligned N.-S., containing ‘the bones of a large man, the feet to the south; there was a headstone and a footstone, and the whole covered by two slabs’.2 The stones were left exposed until 1856 when, ‘owing to the pulling down of an old cottage near which they lay’ 3 (Beudy’r mynydd,SH 34433908),4 ‘they were buried by the farm tenant.; at the time of moving there was found a skeleton which measured more than seven feet in length. Almost immediately on exposure to the air it crumbled into dust; but one or two vertebrae being still hard were preserved by the farmer’. 5 The stones were unearthed in 1876, and after examination by Sir John Rhys were re-buried until 1895, when ‘a gentleman dug them up, together with the covering slab, from a position in the field thirty paces from the easternmost maenhir in a south-westerly direction’ . 6 The inscribed stones were sent to Oxford, where they are now in the Ashmolean Museum, and the covering slab to Boduan Hall (No. 1523). Before and after 1895 the tenant had come across similar covering slabs quite near the surface, which had not been disturbed. Each stone is a natural hexagonal prism of local volcanic origin with the inscription lengthways placed centrally on the stone.
Stone (i), 5 ft. 5 ins. long with faces from 51 ins. to 10 ins. broad, has Latin inscription: VENDESETLI ‘(The stone) of Vendesetl’, in regular roman capitals. 7 Since Vendesetl, meaning ‘He of the blessed life’ is an earlier form of the name Gwynhoedl, the stone has been associated with the saint whose name occurs in that of neighbouring Llangwnnadl parish. 8 But there are epigraphical and linguistic reason& making this identification uncertain; 9 5th-6th-century, but possibly 5th-century.
Stone (ii) , 5 ft. 3 ins. long with faces from 7t ins. to 10 ins. broad has Latin inscription in two lines: IOVENALI(S) FILl/ ETERNI HIC IACIT, ‘(The stone) of Iovenalis, son of Eternus. He lies here’. The letters are crude roman capitals; the A in line 1 has an angular cross-bar, and the final T in line 2 is almost half-uncial in form, suggesting a mid-6th-century date. 10
1 Lewis, Top. Diet., s.v. ‘Llannor’.
2 Arch. Camb., 1847, p. 201.
3 Ibid., 1877, p. 141.
4 Position from 2-in. MS. O.S. map of 1816 and from aerial photographs. The exact position of the grave cannot be determined, but from the fact that the grave extended at right angles under a hedge (n.2 above) it can be deduced that the field was divided by a hedge passing close to the cottage approximately from E. to W., which limits the possibilities.
5 Arch. Camb., 1859, p. 234.
6 Ibid., 1925, p. 387. The two meini hirion in this field (No. 1676) are aligned almost due N.–S. The secondary position of the grave-stones was pointed out in 1957 by Mr. Owen Evans, who was tenant at the time of their removal in 1895, as being 28 yds. W. of the northernmost maenhir (SH 34383920).
7 Nash-“Williams, No. 96 (Fig.).
8 Arch. Camb., 1877,p. 143; Hist. Wales, p. ISO.
9 Jackson, L.H.E.B., p. 325, n. 2. 10 Nash-Williams, No. 97 (Fig.). Macalister (Corpus, No. 389) is alone in noting a ligature between the first E in line 1 and the second E in line 2

Condition: stones now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, grave destroyed

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