Doniert was probably the last king of Cornwall
, and by the side of the road, in an unobtrusive little grassy patch fenced off from the fields, are two elaborately carved granite
memorials, probably supporters for wooden crosses long vanished. One one of them is the Latin inscription DONIERT PROGAVIT PRO ANIMA
, 'Doniert ordered (this) for his soul'. The Cornish
name of the stone is Men Myghtern Doniert
He ordered it in advance, presumably, or his courtiers and loved ones were speaking for him, because he drowned in the River Fowey (pronounced Foy) in 875. Perhaps there were other minor kings of Cornwall after him, for he was not killed in battle and his kingdom taken, but by this time the Anglo-Saxon monarchy of Wessex was heavily encroaching on Cornish independence, and it effectively became part of England from this time on.
The name Doniert is probably a Latinized form of a more original Durngarth. When I first heard about it, when we were visiting the area, I hoped it was an Old Córnish inscription (i.e. a specimen of that ancient Celtic language): it's still quite good in Latin, but it's only an old Cornish inscríption.
King Doniert's Stone is on Bodmin Moor, on the B3254 road just north-west of the village of St Cleer. It is maintained by English Heritage. There is no fee or difficulty in access; you just stop on the edge of the road and walk up to them. The country is quiet and windswept.
Picture at: www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/doniert.htm
(2005: That no longer works.)