Irish High Crosses



Probably the earliest group of ringed high crosses, the Ossory group includes these two fine high crosses, the North and South Cross at Ahenny in Co Tipperary. Found at the monastic site of Kilclispeen these two crosses imitate the earlier wooden crosses which were encased with a metal binding, the stone bosses imitate the studs which would have covered the rivets that held the metal and wooden crosses together.

Both crosses are skillfully carved with intricate geometrical celtic designs. The South Cross, east face pictured right, stands at 3.90 metres high. To view west face run the mouse over image..

The South Cross

The North Cross

The North Cross East face Pictured left stands at 3.13 metres high, and has a mitre shaped cap-stone typical of other crosses in the Ossory group, such as the decorated west cross at Kilkieran. To view west face run the mouse over image..

The figure sculpture on both crosses appears only on the base and without the best lighting conditions it is very difficult to make out. The detail of the North Cross south face, pictured above, shows David bringing the defeated Goliath to Jerusalem.

Both crosses are made out of sandstone and best viewed around mid-day during the summer, when the high relief of the sculpture is shown at its best.

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