Scheduled Monument: Caratacus Stone: an inscribed stone 140m east of Spire Cross
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
13 November 1925
Date last amended
12 November 2003
The monument includes an inscribed early Christian memorial stone known as the Caratacus Stone which is situated in open moorland, 140m east of Spire Cross on the south eastern edge of Winsford Hill. The stone, which is of early medieval date, is free-standing and of local origin. It is an undressed, roughly wedged-shaped block, 1.2m high, 0.3m wide and 0.2m thick with up to 0.3m buried beneath the ground surface. The incised inscription, on the east face of the stone, reads from top to bottom and comprises two lines of capital script with each letter between 0.05m and 0.1m high. Further text on the other face or faces may have weathered away. The surviving text is Latin and reads `CARAACI' and `NEPVS'. This has been translated by several authorities to mean `kinsman of Caratacus' as `nepvs' denotes some form of kinship in contemporary Romano-British inscriptions. It is generally accepted that the stone was erected as a memorial to someone claiming descent from Caratacus, a notable British rebel of the 1st century AD. The name of the individual whose memory the stone commemorates is unknown, possibly because the original text is incomplete or that traces of his name have weathered away through time.
Specifically included in the scheduling is the open-sided stone shelter which protects the monument and which, although modern in date, performs an important protective role.
Book Reference - Author: Okasha, E - Title: Corpus of Early Christian Inscribed Stones of South-West Britain - Date: 1993 - Page References: 328-332 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: 77 Winsford Hill
Book Reference - Author: Thomas, C - Title: And Shall These Mute Stones Speak? - Date: 1994 - Page References: 288 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: The Dumnonian Inscriptions