Runestone E 2
February 23, 2023
The carvings of the stone are in the runestone style Pr 2 (c. 1020-1050) pertaining to the late Ringerike style.
The inscription is not signed.
The limestone slab is c. 47 cm tall (originally c. 75 cm), 57 cm wide and 10 cm thick.
The rune text runs along the edges of the left side of the stone and begins at the bottom left corner, splits in the middle of the word ‘stone’, and continues from the top right corner and down.
᛬ ᚴ[ᛁ]ᚾᛅ ᛬ ᛚᛂᛏ ᛬ ᛚᛂᚴᛁᛅ ᛬ ᛋᛏᛁᚾ ᛬ ᚦᛂᚾᛋᛁ ᛬ ᛅᚢᚴ ᛬ ᛏᚢᚴᛁ ᛬
: k-na : let : legia : st¶in : þensi : auk : tuki :
G[i]nna(?)/G[í]na(?) lét leggja stein þenna ok Tóki.
Ginna(?)/Gína(?) had this stone laid and (i.e. with) Tóki.
The runestone was found in the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in 1852, besides a human skeleton.
The first church on the site was built shortly after 604 CE and burnt down in 1087. St Paul’s was the main church in London, built on the city’s highest point.
The stone has been dated to the reign of King Canute, who ruled England from 1016 to 1035. It probably marked the grave of a follower of Canute.
The stone is believed to have been part of a stone sarcophagus or casket, but all other remaining parts have since disappeared or been discarded, and the bottom part of the stone was cut off soon after the stone was found.
The dead man’s name would probably have been carved on one of the missing sarcophagus pieces. Ginna is probably the wife of the dead, and Toke is his son or brother.
The stone matches limestone that was quarried near the city of Bath, 115 miles west of London.
The stone is carved in relief, and traces of paint pigments were found on the stone of dark blue and red colour on a white — originally maybe grey or cream — plaster background. The colouring has been reconstructed by David M. Wilson in 1974.
Reconstruction of the stone and its colouring, based on David M. Wilson’s reconstruction from 1974.
- Wilson, David M., 1974. ‘Men de ligger i London.’ Skalk 1974:5.
- Från Vikingar till Korsfarare, Norden och Europa 800–1200, 1992.
St Paul’s Churchyard, London.
E 2, Museum of London