Monday, 25 January 2021

The Stone Inscription, King Arthur and Tintagel Castle

I photographed the above stone / slate quite a few years back. Some say that this has connections with the legendary King Arthur.

In the late 1990s archaeologists discovered pottery from the 5th and 6th centuries on the eastern side of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. They also found the slate / stone as in the photo above. It was covering a 6th century drain.

On the slate is the rough inscription:


It appears that someone called Artognov wanted people to know that he had made or built something at Tintagel Castle.

Professor Charles Thomas of Exeter University translated the inscription as, "Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had this built"

This got many jumping to conclusions that Artognov was actually King Arthur, who is said, by some, to have been born in Tintagel Castle. See my post A Flavour of Tintagel Castle and the Story of King Arthur.

The date of the slate, 6th Century, ties in with the time King Arthur is said to have been born.

Unfortunately it is now generally accepted that the stone does not have any connection with King Arthur ... but experts aren't always right!

Part of Tintagel Castle


  1. I wonder what the slate's creator did make in Tintagel then?!? I love stories like this.

    Weird, I found a piece of slate in that exact shape on my local beach, but without all the cryptic writing on it. I might add the writing myself and stick it in the garden for the kids to find. Lulu x

    1. That's a great idea to make a similar one for your children - I expect they would love the mystery.
      I like the King Arthur stories - I guess we'll never find out the real truth.




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