A Dark Age doctor in Gwynedd
Also known as the Melus Stone, this ancient stone pillar stands in the churchyard of St Cian’s, Llangian, near Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula. The churchyard is unusual in being circular, an indication that the site was sacred long before the arrival of Christianity. In the 1990s radiocarbon dating of deposits found on the site indicated that a structure existed here in some form as early as AD 550, but it did not confirm that this structure was a religious building.
A Latin inscription on the stone reads ‘MELI MEDICI FILI MARTINI IACIT’, which translates as ‘Melus the Doctor, son of Martin, lies here’. This reference to a secular profession is unique in Britain. Only a handful of such references occur from this period, and all but this one are found on the mainland of Europe. The inscription is significant in providing evidence for such a profession in Gwynedd in the period following the Roman withdrawal.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Wheelchair Access
Llangian is off a minor road north-west of Abersoch (A499).
Pwllheli - 8 miles
Bus stop at Capel Smyrna
Near Abersoch Cycle Route
Melus Stone is on the right-hand side as you approach church entrance
Full Grid Reference: SH 295289
OS Landranger map sheet: 123
- Llangian Stone, Llangian