Wicklow Crosses

There are numerous crosses located in County Wicklow, most of them at Glendalough.  The primary crosses outside of Glendalough are:  Aghowle Lower, Ballintober, Baltyboys, Bray Oldcourt, Burgage More WI005-070002, Burgage More WI005-070007, Delgany, Killegar, Kilranelagh and Kilquiggin.  Crosses at Glendalough are listed under Glendalough and appear in several categories.   In naming the crosses listed in the Historic Environment Viewer I am using the termonology they use.  (http://webgis.archaeology.ie/historicenvironment/).   The location of County Wicklow is indicated by a red star on the map to the left.  

Aghowle Lower


The monastery at Aghowle (meaning field of the apple trees) was established in the 6th century by St. Finnian.  It is recorded that he erected a “Teampall Mor’ or big church because there were a large number of monks in the community.  This early church would have been of wood and the monks would have lived in beehive cells.  The present stone church on the site was constructed around 1100.  (Rath Hillfort brochure)

The undecorated cross here stands just over 9 feet in height and has a wingspan of over 5 feet.  It is carved of granite and has an imperforate ring.  It stands on a pyramidal base that is about 18 inches in height.  Undecorated panels seem to be carved on the underside of the ring.  (Harbison, 1992, p. 10)  This may suggest that the cross was intended originally to be decorated.

Just at the foot of the cross is a large, trough-like font that may be an example of an early Christian baptismal font.  St. Finden’s Cross can be dated to 900-1000 and the font may be contemporary.  (Corbett, blog)

 Getting There:  See the Road Atlas page 45 5 D.  Aghowle Church is marked on the Atlas map.  Located south of the R725 about 6km east of Tullow.  See the map to the right.

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.

Ballintober (abandoned)

The Ballintober cross was never completed.  It broke when turned on one side for carving.  It does offer insight into how the High Crosses were created.  The cross was to be carved from one piece of granite.  The shape was roughed out on one face and the sides.  The cross would have been large, with a height of over 16 feet.  The arm span would have been more than six feet.  When the mason turned the cross in order to prepare to shape the back face of the cross the shaft snapped along a fault in the stone that was not visible from the front.  One possible dating of the carving of the cross is the 10th century.  This is by no means certain and it may be much more recent.  (Corbett, 2011, pp. 26-29)


Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 45 1 D.  East of Hollywood about 4km along R756 you will come to the L8347.  There will be a sign for the Abhainn Ri Farmhouse & Cottages there as well.  Drive to the Cottages and across the street there is a style into the field where the cross is located.  See the map to the right.

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.

Ballysize Lower Cross

Henry Crawford described a cross at Hollywood, Ballysize Lowerk, Poulaphuea.  He described it as “a rough, plain granite cross, 4 feet high, with part of the top broken.  It appears to be on the site of an ancient burial-place.”  (Crawford, p. 234)  The Historic Environment Viewer adds that this unringed granite cross is known locally as the “Bishop’s Grave.”  It adds that “there is an equal armed cross within a circle inscribed on the lower E side of the shaft.”  (Historic Environment Viewer, County Wicklow, “Cross”, compiled by Gearoid Conroy and Matt Kelleher.)

It is unclear as to the date of this cross and as it is not listed in the Historic Environment Viewer under “High Cross”, it may be outside the tyupical time freame of 1200 or earlier for the High Crosses.

Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 45 1 D.  The cross is located in the Ballysize townland.  Ballysize can be reached from the N81 just north of the exit to Hollywood.  Coming from that direction you will come to a derelict white two=-story house with a number of large farm buildings just past the house.  The cross can be reached through a farm gate adjacent to the most northerly farm building.  It is located about 100 yards to the left.  See the map to the right.

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.

Baltyboys Cross






Christiaan Corlett recently discovered a stone cross in the old graveyard at Baltyboys in County Wicklow.  (http://www.christiaancorlett.com/blog/4564514201)  “The granite cross measures 56cm across, while the upper transom is 28cm wide and 19cm high above the cross arms.  The shaft is slightly wider than the upper transom, measuring 33cm across.”   

Both faces are decorated by domed, circular bosses enclosed by rings.  The two are of slightly different sizes.  These features relate the cross to those at Ballymore Eustace and Burgage, suggesting a 10th century date for the modest Baltyboys cross.  

The presence of the cross supports conjecture that there was an early medieval church at this sight.

Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 45 1 D.  The R758 will take you to a turn off onto an “L” road on the left.  The graveyard the cross is located in is indicated by the lower of the two black dots.  See the map to the left. 

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.

Bray Oldcourt


This cross base was found in 1780 “buried in a bank on the west side of the road from Bray to Oldcourt.”  (National Monument Viewer)  Mason suggests that the original site of the base may be related to a possible monastic site near a place called Kilbride, to the west of Oldcourt and near Blessington.  (Mason, p. 27)

The base is just over four feet in height and approximately two and one half feet at the base.  There is a mortice in the center of the top of the base.

(Photos from Harbison, 1992, Figs. 528-530; description below from Harbison, p. 159)

The lower two-thirds of the East, West and South faces have roll-moulding and each is divided into two panels separated by a bar.

East Face:  The lower panel has two images:  left and center is St. Michael Weighing Souls.  On the right side is an image of Daniel in the Lions’ Den.  This is the photo above and left.

South Face:  The lower panel has a hunting scene that has the image of a person with a stick on the left.  There is a possible dog below and other in front.  They are hunting two animals to the right.  The lower of these animals seems to be a lion at bay.  The upper panel right shows two figures, a tall figure on the extreme right moves toward a shorter figure on his left.  Something like an upright stick is between them.  On the left side of the panel are two animals with crossed necks.

West Face:  The lower panel has two animals approaching each other.  A knot of interlace is between them.  The upper panel left has an image of Eve Giving the Apple to Adam.  On the upper right is a horseman moving right.

Based on the style and materials, this base compares well with the granite crosses of the Barrow Valley at Moone and Castledermot.  The base may be dated to the ninth or tenth centuries.  (Mason, p. 27-28)

Getting There:  This cross-base is on private property and is not available for viewing.

Blessington/Burgage More

Burgage More, tall cross, County Wicklow, Ireland.  Located in Blessington.

There are two crosses at Blessington that were moved from Burgage More around 1940 due to the creation of a lake.  I have been unable to locate any information on the Burgage More site.

St. Mark’s Cross

The cross pictured to the left is known as St. Mark’s Cross.  This cross stands just over 14 feet in height and has extremely long arms.  The ring is imperforate and outlined by a raised rib.  Each face of the cross has a boss in the center of the head. A fragmentary tenon at the top of the shaft raises the possibility that there was a “roof” on the top.

A date of 1400 is carved on the base which appears to be ancient.  (Harbison, 1992, p. 28)

Burgage More, small cross, County Wicklow, Ireland.  Located in Blessington.

Cross-Head

The cross-head pictured to the left also has an extremely long arm on the right.  The left arm is broken off.  The original arm span would have been about five feet.  The cross is now four and one half feet high.  The ring is imperforate and like St. Mark’s cross it has a fragmentary tenon on the top.  (Harbison, 1992, p. 28)  

Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 35 5 D.  From the R411, the crosses are in a graveyard to the east of town.  See the map to the left.

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.



Killegar

This cross-head is in the ruined church at Killegar.  This is the upper part of T-shaped granite  cross that measures about 1.5 feet across the arms and is about 10 inches in height.  It is decorated in the center of the head with a raised boss that is inside a raised ring.

It is possible the cross dates from the later medieval period but Harbison includes it in his listing.  (Harbison, 1992, p. 128)



Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 36 5 G.  Turn to the west 2km north of Enniskerry (on the right side of the road at that point there is a signpost that indicates the distance).  Turning up that winding road it is about 0.5km to a house named “Capistrano”.  The next gate to the left from puts you into a farm road.  The walk down the road is less than 1km.  Follow that farm road and take a right at the only fork.  

The map to the left is cropped fromn the Historic Environment Viewer.


Delgany Cross





The shaft of a cross is located in the old churchyard at Delgany.  The shaft is a little over six feet in height.  On the south face, shown in the photo to the left, there is an inscription and above it there may be a decorated panel.

The inscription asks for prayers for two different people.  The name of the first cannot be discerned.  The name of the second appears to be Odran who was a wright (sair) and may have carved the inscription.  (Harbison, 1992, pp. 357-358)


The two sides, shown in the photos to the right, each have a central panel that is recessed.  There is no evidence of other decoration. 

The north face indicates that the cross-shaft was not flattened on this side, perhaps due to a flaw in the stone.

 Getting There:  See Road Atlas page 46 1 G.  From the N11 take exit 10 and follow the R762 east toward Delgany.  After about 1km you will see the entrance to the old graveyard on the left.  It is just beyond “The Delgany”, a bakery and cafe.   See the map to the right.

The map is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.

Kilquiggin

The only mention I find of this cross and site is in Harbison.  He wrote:  “Lying beside a granite base at the edge of a wooded area near the village of Kilquiggin is an imperforate granite cross-head.  It measures 70cm across the arms, is 50cm high and 16cm thick.  On the face illustrated here there is a triskele in false relief, while on the other face there is a round flat undecorated boss.”  (Harbison, 1992, p. 132)

Getting There:  See Road Atlas page page 45 5 D.  Finding Kilquiggin village and an old graveyard there is straightforward.  Go past the graveyard to the east and take the curve shown on the map to the left.  The next short road to the right is the drive to a farm house.  From there you can enter the fields where the cross-head and base are located.  They are in the second field back to the west.



The map to the left is cropped from the Historic Environment Viewer.



Kilranelagh

This cross was noted in 2005 following the clean up of the Kilranelagh graveyard.  Corlett describes it as just over 3 feet in height and about 2 and one half feet across at the arms.  Near the center of the head is a raised boss that is similar to the high crosses at Ballymore Eustace in Co. Kildare, and Burgage in Co. Wicklow.  Based on this, Corlett suggest this cross may be of early Christian date.  (Corlett, 2005, p. 140)






Resources Consulted

Corlett, Christiaan, “Two Recently discovered Crosses from Co. Wicklow”, The Journal of the royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 135 (2005), pp. 140-144.

County Wicklow Heritage:  http://countywicklowheritage.org/page_id__16_img__187.aspx

Harbison, Peter, 1992, The High Crosses of Ireland:  an Iconographical and Photographic Survey, 3 vols. Dublin.  Royal Irish Academy.  Bonn. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GMBH.

Glendalough

The Monastery

The story of the founding of Glendalough monastery is told below as part of the life of St. Kevin.  The exact date of founding is not known, but we do know that Kevin’s death is recorded as 618.  That suggests the monastery was probably founded in the second half of the sixth century.  The photo below right shows the Monastic City seen from the south.

Monastic City from the south, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

The Irish Annals record some events in the history of the monastery.  (Walsh, 716-17)

770  Glendaloch was destroyed by fire830  the Danes plundered and sacked the abbey

833  the Danes repeated their ravages

835  the Danes again burned the abbey

866  Abbot Daniel died

908  Cormac Mac Cullinan, who was slain in battle, bequeathed an ounce of gold and another of silver to this abbey

927  Dolish Mac Sealvoy, abbot of Timoling, and lecturer of Glendaloch died

953  Moel Jonmain, philosopher and anchorite of Glendaloch died

955  Anchorite Dermod died

957  Anchorite Martin died

965  O’Manchan, anchorite and director of Glendaloch died

972  Abbot Coirpre O’Corra died

977  The Danes of Dublin plundered the town and abbey

983  the three sons of Kearval Mac Lorean plundered the termon-lands of St. Kevin, but thought the immediate intercession of that saint, they met their merited fate, and were all slain on the day they committed the sacrilege.

1176  the English adventurers plundered Glendaloch

1177  a flood ran through the city, by which the bridge and mills were swept away, and fishes remained in the midst of the town

1197  Thomas was abbot

And one entry that lies outside our period of interest but is significant.  

1398:  the English forces destroyed the city of Glendaloch.  It is now a city of ruin and desolation, and its fame is not only known through its history, and will be celebrated, when even the vestiges still remaining, of its sever churches, and of its former greatness, will totally disappear.

St.Kevin

Cross and Cahir near Upper Lake at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

There are several Lives of Kevin, each of which gives him a regal lineage.  They also record miracles related to his birth and childhood.  One story suggests that eventually he was given into the charge of three “holy elders”  (Barrow, p. 52); Eogoin, Lochan and Enna.  In the midst of a period of study, Kevin adopted the life of a hermit.  It was in his search for a place of solitude that he found Glendalough.  There he set himself up in the hollow of a tree.  He was eventually found there by his teachers and returned briefly to their monastery.  Later he was sent to a Bishop Lugidus, who ordained him as a priest and sent him off with other monks to establish a church.  The original location for this church was a place called Cluainduach.  They soon abandoned this location and moved to Glendalough.  (Barrow, pp. 52-54)

The Latin Life states that Kevin founded “a great monastery in the lower part of the valley where two clear rivers flow together.”  (Barrow, p. 54)  This would be the location of the present Monastic City.  It then suggests that Kevin himself soon retired to the upper lake where he resumed his life as a hermit.  His base may have been at Temple na Skellig on a “narrow ledge on the south side of the Upper Lake.”  (Barrow, p. 54)  The photo above left shows the beauty of the Upper Lake.

Another story suggests that the early monastery was close to the Upper Lake and moved west to the site of the Monastic City where there was more space available for the browing community.

According to the Lives, Kevin had a special relationship with the wild beasts of the area.  One story tells us that while praying in his beehive hut above the Upper Lake a bird built a nest in one of his hands.  Kevin remained in that position of prayer until the bird’s egg hatched and the young bird flew away.

Kevin seems to have had at least three places of shelter near the Upper Lake.  One was Teampull na Skellig, another was the cave called Kevin’s Bed near and above Teampull na Skellig.  The third was an oratory of twigs on the north shore of the lake.  Barrow does not mention Kevin’s cell above the Upper Lake, mentioned above.  Kevin lived out his life at Glendalough and according to the Annals of Ulster died in 618.  (Barrow, p. 57)

St. Laurence O’Toole

A second significant saint related to Glendalough was Laurence O’Toole.  He was  born in 1123 to a ruling family.  After some difficulty in his early life he was given into the care of the Bishop of Glendalough.  While there Laurence chose to enter the Church.  At a young age he was chosen abbot at Glendalough in 1153.  He ruled with “great virtue and prudence and strict enforcement of the rules” (Barrow p. 58) for about nine years.  Following that, in 1162, he became Archbishop of Dublin.

It may have been during the time of Laurence O’Toole that St. Saviour’s monastery, located west of the Monastic City was built.  It is clearly a 12th century foundation.

The Crosses:  Peter Harbison listing

Peter Harbison notes that “Glendalough has more crosses than any other site in the country, but as a number are rather small and as the dating of most of them is unknown, only the more significant examples are discussed.”  (Harbison, 1992, p. 95)  The crosses Harbison discusses are:  The Market Cross, located in the Interpretative Centre; a cross near Reefert Church; a ringed granite cross near the Cathedral.  These crosses will be presented first.  

There are several additional crosses listed under the heading “Crosses:  High Crosses” in the National Monument Service website.  These will be considered next.  Finally, a group of additional crosses classed by the National Monument Service as “Cross” will be considered. 

The Market Cross or Brockagh

The National Monument Survey names this cross as Brockagh.  It is listed as WI023-077 in the survey.

While its original location is unknown it is known to have been in front of the Royal Hotel (now gone), inside St. Kevin’s church and in its present location.

The cross stands 5 feet 6 inches in height and 2 feet 7 inches across the arms.  It is carved of granite.  The description below is based on Harbison’s assessment.  (Harbison, 1992, p. 95)

 East Face:Market Cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, located in Visitor's Center

Base:  Two figures, possibly holding books are at the center of the base, standing on a raised platform.  There may be two additional figures to the left.  The right side of the base is too deteriorated to identify any carving.  See figure 104 below from Cochrane.

The Cross:  The shaft is framed by roll moulding with pellets inside.  The figure of a bishop or abbot, who may represent St. Kevin, stands below an image of the crucifixion.  Jesus’ long, slender body is dressed in a loincloth.  His head, which may be crowned, falls to the left. 

The South Side:  (Fig. 106 below)

 Base:  Any decoration is too worn to identify.

Cross:  The shaft has animal interlace with a ribbon coiling around the animals.  The end of the arm also has animal interlace.


Market Cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, located in Visitor's Center


West Face:

Base:  There is interlace.

Cross:  The shaft has irregular interlace with tendril endings.  (See Fig. 105 above)  The head has floral motifs flanked by raised mouldings.

North Side:

Base:  The decoration is unclear.  (See Fig. 107 above)

Cross:  Animal interlace in figure-of-eight mouldings.  Decoration on end of arm is unclear.


Reefert Cross, Lugduff

The painting to the right depicts a window on the south side of the Reefert Church.  (See Art Gallery)

This cross is carved of mica schist and stands 7 feet 2 inches in height.  Here the description is based on the description offered in the National Monument Survey, which in turn is based on the work of Harbison and Leask.  The NMS refers to this cross as Lugduff.  

The west face of the head has “an elaborate circular pattern, consisting of a Greek cross formed of one continuous band and surrounded by two rings.  The circular centre of this cross contains a design similar to the triskelion, but having two arms only, and the triangular ends contain triquetras.  In the quarters are interlaced knots.”  (National Monument Survey)  (Center image below Cochrane, Fig. 77)  The photo below left is the west face of the cross, that to the right is the east face.

St. Reefert Church cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, IrelandSt. Reefert Church cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


                   

Ringed Granite Cross, Sevenchurches or Camaderry

Sevenchurches or Camaderry, ringed granite cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, located south of cathedral in monastic citySevenchurches or Camaderry, ringed granite cross, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, located south of cathedral in monastic city


This cross stands nearly 11 feet in height and a little over 3 and one half feet across the arms.  It stands to the south of the Cathedral and is carved of granite.  It is otherwise undecorated.  The NMS refers to this cross as Sevenchurches or Camaderry, WI023-008013.

The photo to the left shows the east face of the cross, that to the right the west face.


The Crosses:  National Monument Viewer listing under High Crosses

These crosses include:  Sevenchurches or Camaderry (WI023-008042); Sevenchurches or Camaderry (WI023-009019); Brockagh (WI023-028012); and Brockagh (WI023-028011).

Sevenchurches or Camaderry

"Described by Leask (1950, fig. 19g, 42) as ‘a ringed cross of granite, unpierced, with a short shaft, probably broken.  It stands at the west end of the “Priests house” but was possibly, like St. Kevin’s Cross, on the boundary of the ancient burial ground.’”  (NMS)



Sevenchurches or Camaderry (WI023-009019), Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, located in St. Kevin's Church.




Sevenchurches or Camaderry (WI023-009019)

“Described by Leask (1950, 45, 47) as the ‘head of a granite cross (3, Fig. 20) 3 feet 3 inches wide and high is of the ring or wheel type with a solid recessed ring and small hollows at the intersection of shaft and arms.  There are two small concentric circles at the centre and two incised lines form mouldings around the cross and emphasize its outline.’”  (NMS)

Brockagh Cross (WI012-028012) Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, Visitor's Center

Brockagh (WI023-028012)

“Described by Leask (1950, 40) as a ‘cross and base, 3 feet 8 inches high.  Head a complete, solid ring with short projecting arms, a circular band in shallow relief surrounding cross with curved, equal arms.  The shaft is tapered with a slight entasis and is rebated shallowly at the edges.”  This cross was described as having a base.  The base seems to have been used for a replica that is outside the entrance to the Visitor Centre.  (NMS)




Cross base and shaft, near Reefert Church, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


Brockagh (WI023-028011)  “Small portion of ringed head of cross ( 0.24m, max width 0.38m and 0.07m thick).  Outline of wheel discernible on faces (Leask 1950, fig. 18g.  40-1)  The shaft and base still stand at Reefert church and have been designated no. WI023-028030.  I have not located a photo of the head fragment, but the shaft and base that remain near the Reefert Church are pictured to the right.  (NMS; illustration left Cochrane p. 77)



Roadside Cross:  A Latin cross, 5 feet 8 inches high, cut out of mica schist, and having one arm broken off. The only ornament consists of circular hollows at the angles of the intersection. It stands in a field between the road and the river near the bridge at the upper lake. Both of these crosses are in the line of the ancient “ Pilgrims’ Road,” now almost obliterated.   (Cochrane, p. 75, illustration p. 77, Fig. 82)



Additional Crosses at Glendalough

In the National Monument Service Historic Environment Viewer the following crosses are listed under the heading “crosses” as opposed to “high crosses”.  Dating for all these crosses must ne considered undetermined.

Those Near Upper Lake

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland     Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Class: Cross

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. A)

Description: Set in a stone cairn some 60m NE of a possibly modern stone enclosure (WI023-025----). A large undecorated Latin cross of mica-schist with one arm broken away (H 1.4m; Wth 0.65m; T 0.17m). (Healy 1972, 222)

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, IrelandGlendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. B)

Description: Situated ENE of a possibly modern stone enclosure (WI023-025----) N of Reefert Church (WI023-028001-). A large undecorated Latin cross of mica-schist (H 1.1m; Wth 0.57m; T 0.1m) with one arm broken away; set into a stone cairn. Another triangular cross-base beside the above was missing in 1971. (Healy 1972, 22, 85) 

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. D)

Description: Set into a stone cairn SE of the possibly modern stone enclosure (WI023-025----) near Reefert Church. An undecorated irregular Latin cross of mica-schist (H 0.94m; Wth 0.54m; T 0.03m). (Healy 1972, 21) 

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough, Upper Lake, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor North By. C)

Description: Erected on a stone base to W of centre of interior of church (WI023-027----) (Healy 1972, No. 220, 21, 82). Described by Healy (1972, 82) as a ‘small cross of mica-schist 0.88m x 0.53m x 0.04m thick. It is symmetrical in outline, and the shaft and arms are tapered’. 

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. E)

A rude cross of mica schist, 2 feet 7 inches high, having on the side a small plain cross in a rectangular frame, the upright stem being extended to the ground.  I believe the cross in question is the one on the left in the photo to the left.  (Cochrane p. 75, illustration p. 77 #76) 

Glendalough, Reefert Church, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, IrelandGlendalough, Reefert Church, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. F)

Description: Located: stands 7.3m NW of NW corner of nave of church (WI023-028001-) (Healy 1972, no. 207, 69). Described by Healy (1972, 66) as a ‘large plain Latin cross of mica schist 1.4m x 0.9m x 0.12m thick. The arms and head are partly broken away. It stands in a mortised base, also of mica schist 1.1m x 0.8m 

Glendalough, Reefert Church, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, IrelandGlendalough, Reefert Church, mica-schist cross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Townland: LUGDUFF (Ballinacor South By. G)

Description: Located: 4.45m NE of NE corner of chancel of church (WI023-028001-) (Healy 1972, no. 217, 79). Described by Healy (1972, 79) as a ‘small rough cross of mica-schist 1.14m x 0.36m x 0.05m thick’.  




The following group of crosses were described by Cochrane in 1911-12 and are also described, using Cochrane’s illustrations by Leask.  I have had difficulty identifying the location of many of these crosses.  As with the grouping above, dates for the carving of these crosses is undetermined.

 At Teampul-na-Skellig

Fig, 71.—A rough Latin cross of mica schist, 3 feet 9 inches high, decorated on the west side with an incised cross rising from a base consisting of four squares place done inside another, and having concentric circles at the centre and at the extremities of the arms. All the markings on crosses are symbolic. The circle has aspiritual significance while the square is worldly, and is frequently used to denotethe connexion of the person commemorated with the particular locality of which he was possibly a native.  (Cochrane,  p. 76)

Near Reefert Church


A cross of mica schist, 3 feet 8 inches high, having a massive  base and a head which shows the complete ring, and has in the centre a Greek cross formed of circular curves.  (Cochrane p. 75, illustration left, fig. 78, p. 77)




Roadside Crosses


A cross of mica schist 2 feet 6 inches high, carved with a singular pattern consisting of grooves forming a saltire in the centre, and on the arms panels whose sides correspond in direction to the lines of the saltire.  It is on a low mound in a field between the road and the lower lake.  (Cochrane, p. 75, illustration p. 77, Fig. 81) 






At St. Mary’s Church 

A rough cross of mica slate 1 foot 9 inches high, the arms of which expand slightly towards the ends. It is fixed in a socket and stands 10 feet west of the church.  (Cochrane, p. 76, illustration p. 77, Fig. 92)   

St. Kevin’s Church  Some of the crosses mentioned below are probably no longer inside St. Kevin’s Church. I hope on my next trip to Glendalough to locate as many of these as I can and add photographs and current location to the information below.


A ringed cross of mica slate (broken in two), 2 feet 10 inches by 12 inches by 1 inches thick. On the front is a circular band in relief carved with plain zigzag pattern, above which is an upright chevron. Round the edge is a small rebate and on the shaft a plain lattice of five compartments. On the back is a Greek fom cross of bands, mitred together at the centre and finishing in crescent shaped ends.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 111/ VIII p. 81) 





The central portion of a large cross head of mica schist, 1 foot 9 inches by 1 foot 5 inches by 2 inches thick. In the centre is a small circle surrounded by a Greek cross placed diagonally, and shaped as a square with the angles hollowed out in curves. (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 112/ IX p. 81)  



The central portion of a cross head of mica schist, 1 foot 9 inches by 1 foot 4 inches by 3 inches thick. It is plain, with the exception of curved lines which mark out the quadrants of the ring. (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 113/ X p. 81) 



A cross of mica schist, 3 feet 1 inch by 1 foot , the ring is sohd and a plain cross with rounded angles is carved in slight relief The head is separated from the shaft. (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 114/ XI p. 81) 




The head of a cross of mica schist, 1 foot 5 inches by 1 foot 2 inches. The ring is marked off from the cross proper by incised lines partly worn away.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 115/ XII p. 81) 


The head of a small cross of mica schist, 1 foot 2 inches bv 10 inches by 2 inches thick. The lower segments of the ring are broken, and the intersection of the cross is above the centre of the ring. Tliis is the only cross with a pierced ring now to be found at Glendalough. (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 116/ XIII p. 81)


The head of  small cross of mica schist, 1 foot 2 inches by 1 foot Oi inch by li inch thick. The ring is not separated from the cross by any incision, and the arms are slightly tilted and are placed above the centre of the ring (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 117/ XIV, p. 81) 


The central portion of a small rude cross of mica schist, 1 foot one half inches bv one and three quarters thick ; a small Greek cross is incised on each face. One of these crosses has another smaller cross at the upper extremity.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 118/ XV, p. 81) 


The head of a rude ) cross, 1 foot 2 inches by 9 inches by one and one quarter inch thick formed by cutting four notches in a slab of mica schist.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 119/ XVI, p. 81)



The head of a rude cross, 1 foot 2 inches by 9 inches by one and one quarter inch thick, formed by cutting four notches in a slab of mica schist, somewhat similar to No. XVI. (Fig. 120)(Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 120/ XVII, p. 81)


 The head of a rude cross, 1 foot 4 inches by 1 inches thick, formed as No. XVII., but having the upper end rounded, and incised with three short vertical lines.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 121/ XVIII, p. 81)


The lower portion of a cross of mica schist, 1 foot 6 inches by 5 and one third inches by one and three quarters inches thick. This cross consisted of a tapering shaft supporting a head" formed by four limbs; which expand towards the ends. The upper and side limbs are missing.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 122/ XIX, p. 81)



The head of a plain Latin cross of mica schist, 1 foot 3 and one half inches by 1 foot 2 inches by 2 inches thick, incised on one side with a plain double line cross now almost worn away.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 123/ XX, p. 81)


The head of a plain Latin cross of mica schist, 10 and one half inches by 10 and one half- inches by 2 inches thick.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 124/ XXI, p. 81)



XXII.  The head of a small plain cross of mica schist, 1 foot 2 inches by 5 and one half- inches by I and three quarters  inch thick.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 125/ XXII, p. 81)

XXIII.  The head of a small plain cross of mica schist, I foot 0 and one half  inch by 6 and one half  inches by 1 and one half inches thick, similar to No. XXII.  (Cochrane, p. 82)

XXIV.  The lower portion of a small cross of mica schist, one and one half inches by seven and one half inches by one and one half inches thick, similar to No. XXV.   (Cochrane, p. 82)

XXV.  The lower portion of a small cross of mica schist, 10 and one half inches by 7 and one half inches by 1 inch thick. (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 126/ XXVI, p. 81)


 

XXVI.  A plain cross of mica schist, 2 feet by three inches by 9 and one half inches by 2 and one quarter inches thick.  The limbs expand slightly towards the ends and the shaft tapers.  Fig. 127.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 127/ XXVI, p. 81)

 

XXVII.  A plain cross resembling No. XXVI., two feet 6 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches thick.  One arm is missing.  (Found at the west end of St. Kevin’s church in 1912.)  Fig. 128.  (Cochrane, p. 82, Fig. 128/ XXVII, p. 81)


 


XXVIII.  A carved fragment of uncertain allocations, 1 foot 4 inches by 8 inches by three and one half inches thick. It shows portion of a flat band in relief, 2 and one half inches wide, turned at right angles. Inside the angles of this band the stone forms a rebate, above the- band are the legs of a human figure, the remainder is broken away. Portions of interlaced and spiral designs appear at the side. (Fig. 129.)


Resources Consulted

Barrow, Lennox, “Glendalough and St. Kevin”, Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 27, No. 2, March, 1974, pp. 49-64.

Cochrane, Robert, “The Ecclesiastical Remains at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow,”, Public Works, Ireland, Eightieth Annual Report of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, London, 1912.  pp. 45-88.

Corlett, Christiaan, August 13, 2013, http://www.christiaancorlett.com/blog/4564514201/The-great-stone-font-at-Aghowle-Co.-Wicklow/6332783.

Corlett, Chris, The Abandoned Cross at Ballintubber, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow, Archaeology Ireland, vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 2011), PP. 26-29, Photo page 28.

Corlett, Christiaan, "Two Recently Discovered Crosses from Co. Wicklow" The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Vol. 135 (2005), pp. 140-144

County Wicklow Heritage:  http://countywicklowheritage.org/page_id__16_img__187.aspx

Crawford, Henry S. “Descriptive List of the Early Irish Crosses”.  The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Fifth Series, Vol, 37, (June. 30, 1907)  pp. 187-239.

Harbison, Peter, 1992, The High Crosses of Ireland:  an Iconographical and Photographic Survey, 3 vols. Dublin.  Royal Irish Academy.  Bonn.  Dr. Rudolf Habelt GMBH.

Healy, P. 1972, “Supplementary Survey of Ancient Monuments at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow”.  Unpublished OPW report.

Leask, H. G., 1950, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow:  National Monuments Vested in the Commissioners of Public Works, Dublin.  Stationery Office.

Mason, Johathan, "An Early Christian cross base in Bray" Archaeology Ireland Vol. 24, No. 3 (Autumn 2010), pp. 26-29

Rathgall Hillfort and Aghowle Church, Rath, Coolkenno, Co. Wicklow, brochure, http://www.countywicklowheritage.org/documents/Rathgall_and_Aghowle_Brochure_2008_2009.pdf.

Walsh, Thomas, History of the Irish Hierarchy, with the Monasteries of Each County, D. & J. Sadlier & Co., New York, 1854.


 Barney McLaughlin 2012