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I first encountered Dynarth by accident shortly after I moved to St Cleer in 2010.

Driving uphill through a snow clad landscape I missed my turn and found myself thoroughly lost. I pulled into a wayside grotto  in which stood two intricately carved stones.

Using my very basic latin I was able to translate part but not all of the inscription,

'Don rogavit pro anima'

which I took to mean that somebody  was begging prayers for his soul, a fairly commonplace request.

I had no idea who he might have been but standing there I was overcome with a sadness for this long dead soul whose memorial stood outside the peaceful confines of the churchyard.

Of course the present church is of Norman origin but it's likely that there was a church on the site before the conquest in 1066.

I did eventually make my way home and immediately set about researching the stone.

It turned out to be  a memorial to the last truly independent king of Cornwall.

The inscription translates literally as:


'Dynarth begged for his life'.

It is believed that Dynarth was drowned in the nearby River Fowey but I was puzzled;

how could a king be so ill-guarded that he drowned?

How had the location for the monument been chosen? Whom had he begged for his life?

Needless to say I did not find any definitive answers to my questions but I did unearth a lot of highly suggestive background information.

King Doniert's Stone
St Cleer Parish Church
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