Moone High Cross
At a Glance
County Kildare
OS Map 55
OS Coordinate S 790 937
Group Scripture
 
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Moone High Cross, Co. Kildare

East face

East face East face East face East face East face East face
South and east face East face East face East face

South face

South and east side South and east face South face South face South face

West face

West face West face West face West face
West face West face West face West face

North face

North face North face North face North face North face North and west side

Holed cross

Church

Location: Approximately 17 km SW of Kilcullen (4 km south of Ballitore) along the N 9. Take the first right (third class road) past Timolin - just past the P.O.). The roads are a bit confusing here and the church and cross are not posted until you are practically atop the site. Take the 3rd class road about half a km. Just past the 90 degree turn take the first right (looks a bit like a driveway). If you come to a crossroads where the roads seem to be tiny lanes, you know you're within meters of it. The church and cross are hidden from direct view of the street by a wall. Parking is beside the wall, sufficient for several cars.

Dimensions: The erected cross is 5.33 m. high

Features:

East face - 1) The Twelve Apostles 2) Crucifixion 3) Lozenge 4) Whirligig 5) Angels 6) Spirals

South face - 1) Monsters in the desert 2) Temptation of St. Anthony 3) Raven brings bread for St. Peter and St. Anthony, Animals from the bestiary 4) Figure

West face - 1) Daniel in the Lion's Den 2) Sacrifice of Isaac 3) Adam and Eve 4) Heads and Monsters intertwined 5) Christ with Dolphin above

North face - 1) Multiplication of loaves and fishes 2) Flight into Egypt 3) Three children in the fiery furnace 4) Figure

Comments: Hopefully the signs have been updated, but even if not, this high cross is well worth seeking out for its height and carving. Done in an interesting flat style, it has been theorized that these flat surfaces would have been easier to paint, as many high crosses were. In the cemetery, there appears to be the base of another high cross - certainly a quite aged one.

History: The church is believed to have been founded by St. Palladius, who came to Ireland in 431. It was later dedicated to St. Columcille. In 1835, the cross head and stepped base of the granite high cross were discovered during some work that was being done in the graveyard of the ruined church. Because the carvings were not exposed to the elements, they were in a remarkable state of preservation, and the cross was re-erected by the Duke of Leinster in 1850. The shaft was found in 1893 and the cross was restored again. A section of another highly ornamented cross was found and both crosses were moved to the interior of the church ruin in 1995 and some conservation work was done on the large cross. The crosses have been recently cleaned and a modern plexi-glass roof was installed over the shell of the church to provide the crosses with protection from the elements. The large cross is believed to have been carved between 900 and 1000 AD.

Other Items of Interest: Moone Castle (tower house) can be seen over the wall at the far end of the cemetery. It is on private property.

  © 2005 F.J. & K.D. Schorr - All rights reserved.