Irish High Crosses


Standing in the grounds of Castle Bernard, County Offaly, at a height of 2.40 metres is a Sandstone Cross with a damaged head. The Cross was originally part of the monastic site founded in the sixth Century by St Finian Cam although the cross was probably sculptured during the tenth century. The North Face pictured right, bears seven bosses at the centre of the head standing above two affronted birds and the North shaft bears a figurative panel showing Adam and Eve above some decorative panels, details are shown below. At the centre of the head on the South side is a crucifixion scene and on the southern shaft a panel showing a David scene, although this is open to interpretation. At the bottom of the shaft on both the North and South sides are inscriptions refering to King Maelsechnaill the King of Ireland between 846 and 862CE. The cross originally faced East - West but is now standing North - South.

North Face


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