Reduce, reuse, recycle – St Margaret’s Well

St Margaret’s Well, in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh is a great case demonstrating the multiple lives and forms of heritage sites.  Since it was first built at Restalrig in the late 15th century, it has been moved and reconstructed, and the design itself was a miniature copy of another historic site, St Triduana’s Aisle.

With apologies for the poor photo focus (taken in pouring rain), the Well has a classic Royal Label Factory design site sign, though the font is a slight variant from others.  The site forms part of the larger Royal Park of Holyrood, looked after by Historic Environment Scotland.

Whithorn: The Latinus Stone

The Latinus Stone, Whithorn © David Gill

The Latinus stone was discovered in 1891 during the clearances of the site. It appears to have been reused in the later medieval church. It was probably part of an early Christian cemetery.

The worn inscription reads (based on C.A. Ralegh Radford’s transliteration and translation):


We praise you, the Lord! Latinus, aged 35, and his daughter, aged 4. The grandson Barravados set up the monument here.

Historic Scotland supplies an alternative translation:
We praise you, the Lord! Latinus, descendant of Barravados, aged 35, and his daughter, aged 4, made a sign here.

Ralegh Radford dated the stone to the mid 5th century. He observed the allusion to Psalm 146, part of the liturgy used at funerals.

The stone is displayed in the Museum and curated by Historic Scotland (HES). It is one of the oldest pieces of evidence for Christianity in Scotland.


Legio VI on Hadrian’s Wall

Legio VI inscription (inverted) in the Vicar’s Pele, Lanercost Priory © David Gill

A building inscription recording the work of Legio VI is built into the 13th century Vicar’s Pele at Lanercost Priory (RIB 1968), immediately below and to the left of the window. The inscription (incorporated upside down) records:

Leg(io) VI V[ic(trix)]
Pia Fid(elis) [f(ecit)]

It is suggested the stone was originally located on Hadrian’s Wall between Turret 49a and Milecastle 57.

Mann has noted a series of similar inscriptions naming Legio VI. One was observed at Birdoswald around 1599 (RIB 1916). Another comes from Milecastle 50 (High House) on the stone wall (i.e. to the north of Milecastle 50 on the turf wall) just to the west of the fort at Birdoswald (RIB 1934), and two more from Turret 50a (High House) on the Stone Wall (RIB 1938, 1939). Another was built into a farmhouse at Naworth, south of Turret 53a (Hare Hill) (RIB 1966), and another from Lanercost, south of Turret 53b (Craggle Hill) (RIB 1967).

Inscription in the Vicar’s Pele, Lanercost Priory © David Gill
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