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Men Scryfa

Standing Stone / Menhir


The inscription, probably made long after the menhir was orginally erected, reads
RIALOBRANI (Royal Raven)
CUNOVALI FILI ('Famous leader' or 'Glorious Prince')
The raven is a bird of carrion, linked with death and the battlefield and was believed to have magical power for those who worshipped it. The raven is one of the forms taken by the Irish Morrigan, goddess of war and death.
Celtic legend links the name of Bran (in RialoBRANi) to a ancient British warrior king, keeper of the cauldron of immortality, whose decapitated head continued to have powers of speech and was later buried on the site of the Tower of London, where ravens still live. Bran also appears in Arthurian legend under a variety of names and he was a Celtic solar war god.

The story of RIALOBRANI (Ryalvran) is clearly very ancient. An invader attacked the Glorious Prince, seized his lands and occupied the Lescudjack hillfort at Penzance, which protected the harbour. The defeated royalty fled possibly to the area around Carn Euny or the hillfort of Caer Bran (Raven Castle). The Royal Raven tried to reclaim his territory and a battle took place, but Ryalvran was killed and buried by the stone which apparently was the same height as the dead warrior.
From Ian Cooke's 'Antiquities of West Cornwall
Jane Posted by Jane
15th December 2003ce

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