The stone is one of a group thought to have come from a local private chapel in Anderton, Lancashire.An example is found inserted in a wall of the old district of Oppède, in France's Luberon.In particular, this is a square 2D palindrome, which is when a square text admits four symmetries: identity, two diagonal reflections, and 180 degree rotation.As can be seen, the text may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, or right-to-left; and it may be rotated 180 degrees and still be read in all those ways.It consists of a sentence written in Latin: "Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas." Its translation has been the subject of speculation with no clear consensus; see below for details.
Outside of Italy, an example found in a group of stones in the grounds of Rivington Church reads SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS.
Though not a significant sentence, it is grammatical; it can be read up and down, backwards and forwards. But since word order is very free in Latin, the translation is the same.
If the Sator Square is read boustrophedon, in reverse direction, the words become SATOR OPERA TENET, with the sequence reversed., 'I creep towards', may be coincidental.
There is a Sator Square in the museum at Conimbriga (near Coimbra in Portugal), excavated on the site.
There is one known occurrence of the phrase on the rune stone Nä Fv1979;234 from Närke, Sweden, dated to the 14th century.