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set in stone

‘North’, ‘Norah’… possibly even ‘Leenwerrare’: Can you tell what’s written on this stone?

National Library of Ireland researchers have been trying to identify the inscription, but they’ve hit a wall…

EXPERTS CARRYING OUT archiving work at the National Library of Ireland are asking for the help of readers as they attempt to figure out what’s written on this mystery monument.

The photo was was found at the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar, while an Irish Tourist Association collection of photographs (circa 1943-44) was being sorted.

According to Carol Maddock, who looks after the library’s social media, “it was in the only envelope in that collection that had no label”.

“There were some other unidentified photos in the envelope too, but this stone is distinctive enough so we hope we can identify a location, and what the carving says.”

Researchers think the carving may say “the stone of Norah”, according to Maddock.

“Then again, that may just be because we have a Norah working here — it may be ‘North’, we’re not sure.”

As for the second line, the closest guess that Maddock can give is that it may be “Leenwerrare”, but so far that name isn’t ringing any bells around the country.

The hope is that people who have seen the stone since will come forward: “Someone could have passed it in the grounds of some stately home”.

“There’s what looks like a cross carved in there too so it might be religious — we just don’t know”.

There’s some evidence to support that the stone may be (or may have been) in Wicklow, but nothing concrete [sorry].

Can you help? Answers below in the comments section, or on the NLI’s Facebook or Twitter.

image (Image: National Library of Ireland)

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