The Brough Stone

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The Brough Stone, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge © David Gill

The ‘Brough Stone’ (RIB 758) was found in 1879 during the restoration of the south porch of St Michael’s parish church at Brough under Stainmore, Cumbria (formerly Westmorland). It was acquired through subscription by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge in 1884 (inv. GR.1.1884).

The Roman fort at Verterae lies on the road over the Pennines linking the legionary base at York with the town at Luguvalium (Carlisle).

The Brough stone is the tombstone of Hermes of Commagene (Syria), aged 16: the text is in Greek, although at first it was thought to be ‘runic’ (and dated to the 6th century). The inscription is dated to the 3rd century.

The church lies to the south-east of the Roman fort. Subsequent excavations have shown the civilian cemetery to lie in this area.

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The Roman fort at Brough, Cumbria © David Gill

  • Further information and bibliography from Historic England
  • English Heritage
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: Object in Focus
  • Stephens, G. 1884. Handbook of the Old-Northern Runic Monuments. London, Edinburgh, Copenhagen. Pp. 116-17. [Digital]
  • Clark, E.C. 1886. The Brough Stone. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Transactions of 1st Ser. 8: 205-219. [ADS]
  • Anon. 1886. The Brough Inscription. From the Athenaeum of Nov. 22, 1884. The Brough Stone. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Transactions of 1st Ser. 8: 171-73. [ADS]
  • Collingwood, R.G. 1931.Objects from Brough-under-Stainmore in the Craven Museum, Skipton. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, NS, Vol 31: 81-86. [ADS]
  • Birley, E. 1958.The Roman fort at Brough-under-Stainmore. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society NS, Vol 58: 31-56.
    [ADS]
  • Jones, M.J. et al. 1977.Archaeological work at Brough-under-Stainmore 1971-77: I. The Roman Discoveries, Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society NS, Vol 77: 17-45. [ADS]
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