Description

North-High-Cross-perspective-view-intro

SMR No.: OF005-018----

Monument Type: Cross - High cross

This is the earliest cross on the site. Only the shaft and part of the base of this cross survive.There is a tenon or projection on the top of the shaft which would have fitted into a mortice in the underside of the missing cross head. The shaft is made from limestone and is ornamented on three sides only with animal, human and abstract designs divided into panels. The front or west face has four and a half panels all containing interlace designs. On the south side above the lowest panel of interlace is a human figure while the top panel shows a lion with a projecting tongue.

The upper hull of the north side has a tall panel with two animals placed one above the other and a damaged human figure at the top with spiral ornament on the body. This last figure has been compared with figures in the Book of Kells. The ornament is similar to that on the cross at Bealin, Co. Westmeath and other fragments from Clonmacnoise and Banagher and this group has been dated to the early 9th century.

The base, which was only recently exposed by excavation. was originally a Millstone and is made of conglomerate sandstone. It is only the core of a composite box-like stone base which has not survived, but the grooves cut for the upright corner stones and the side panels can be seen. St. John's Cross at Iona in Scotland has a composite base surviving intact.

 

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