The Ogham Sacranus Stone at St Dogmaels, Wales


While visiting St Dogmael Abbey, Wales, I was more than happy to explore the church of St Andrew, situated nearby, where I found another stone, a very important stone as it turns out.  This important stone stands against the west wall of the nave.

The Sacranus Stone, and like the stone in my posting for Llwyn-on-Fach was used as a gate post, having hanger holes, it was also used as a bridge over a brook in the abbey grounds.


In about 1850 the Revd H J Vincent, Vicar, found the white washed stone forming part of his house.  While removing the stone it fell and broke into two parts, hence the metal band.  The stone is 84″ in length, 30″ wide and 8″ thick and along with 2 other stones were moved to the safety of the church in 1915.


What makes this stone special is that the inscription is in Ogham.

Ogham was a language used in Ireland and Briton between the 4th and 7th centuries AD.  The language is phonetic and uses line patterns to represent each letter instead of characters that we use now.

The inscription reads Sagranus Son of Cunotamus and is written in Latin as well as Ogham.


The above diagram is hung in the church next to the stone.  The stone is date from the 5th to early 6th century.  It is thought that it could be a grave marker, as there are several around the area and some have ‘here lies’ on them.  The stones are usually found near or in churchyards, although none have been found next to a grave.  These bilingual monuments helped to provide the key to the Ogham alphabet.


    1. I nearly walked passed it and suddenly I thought thats more than just a rock and thank goodness the vicar found it in the wall. Just makes you wonder what else is out there just waiting to be found 🙂

  1. Most interesting stone. Lots of them over here in Ireland. About ten miles from me in County Waterford, there are about eleven in the one area, all originally found lining the sides of a souterrain. A few have now been re-erected above ground. In the Church of Ireland (i.e. Anglican) Cathedral in Killaloe, County Clare, north of Limerick city on the Shannon, can be seen an Ogham stone which also bears Viking runes. Some people, with an interest in antiquities, are now using Ogham on present-day headstones. They look ‘classy’!

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