"The art historian F. Henry places the cross to the 7th Century since the braid pattern is similar to the interlace on the c.650 Book of Durrow. He also suggests that it is very important to the understanding of the evolution of high crosses in Ireland. This early Christian cross is thought to represent the transition from crosses carved on slabs, such as that at Fahan Mura, to a slab that is cut out in the shape of a cross. The east face of the re-erected cross depicts bands of broad ribbon interlace (symbolic of the tree of life), 3 birds under each arm of the cross and 8 simplified figures in low relief. Although the central image may depict a Crucifixion scene (arms outstretched), it does not portray Christ in a slouched or suffering position. Typically Irish crosses show Christ as erect, perhaps as the self-sacrificer, a victor over death, resurrected. The body-flanking figures could either be Mary and Joseph, the two thieves or possibly the soldiers and the figures flanking the head are thought to be angels. Below this scene are three figures wearing cowls and long robes, perhaps representing the holy women who visited Christ's tomb after the Resurrection.
The west face of the red sandstone cross is completely covered with interlacing and bears no figure carving. The two re-erected pillar stones flanking the cross are carved with figures. On the pillar to the left in the top photo, the west face depicts a figure holding a bell in one hand and a satchel or book in the other. A drop head staff lay under his feet . All of these symbols are commonly used to represent a pilgrim, with the satchel symbolizing a traveler. On the south face is a trifold knot and a medieval creature with large ears or horns carrying a hammer. On the north side is a head in profile and a fish, possibly representing Jonah and the Whale. The east face has only a carved face.
On the north pillar King David is represented as a harpist on the east side and as a warrior on the west side, although some argue that the warrior could represent Goliath. On the north side of this pillar is a large fish and a small bird, and the south side depicts spirals.”
Information board at the site
Click on any of the images below to enlarge.
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