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Hidden Histories, episode two

Royal Commission photographer Iain Wright works at night with artificial lighting to try to recover fragments of the eroded inscription that told the story of the early medieval Welsh leader, Eliseg, on the pillar put up in his memory near Llangollen.

Only the shaft of the cross remains.

The pillar of Eliseg

A cross was erected at Valle Crucis near Llangollen in the ninth century to commemorate an early medieval leader, Eliseg (or Elisedd). Only the shaft of the cross remains and its inscription, which was already almost illegible when the antiquary Edward Lhuyd tried to transcribe it in 1696, has disappeared. Eliseg's great-grandson, Cyngen (died 854), commemorated the achievements of his ancestor by raising the cross. The inscription, written in Latin in thirty-one horizontal lines, was broken into paragraphs separated by small crosses.

Find out more about the pillar of Eliseg, on the Royal Commission's website.


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