Senegambian stone circles lie in Gambia. The stones were erected around the eighth century on top of earlier graves. The ten to twenty-four stones in each circle vary in size up to ten-ton stones, from 1 to 2.5 metres high. The stones mark burials and were erected before the twelfth century. There are around 1,000 stone circles, the biggest concentration being more than 1,000 stones in fifty-two circles at Djalloumbéré.
On the stone an Old Irish inscription is translated as ‘this place, bequeathed by Ternoc, son of Cernan the Little under the patronage of Peter the Apostle’. He died around 714 – 716, so the stone must have been erected in the early 700’s AD, making it the earliest datable stone monument in Ireland. It is decorated with ten crosses and excavations in 1966 and 1968 uncovered a number of stone built and dug graves nearby. Close to the pillar are several small stones, some with crosses.
Ancient graves carved in stone, St. Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham, UK