Fassaroe crosses

Fassaroe crosses

During the twelfth century there were a number of interesting granite crosses designed around a few churches in the Rathdown area, they all share characteristics, suggesting they were fashioned by the same stonemason. They have come to be known as Fassaroe crosses. The crosses identified as such are at Rathmichael, Killegar, Rathmichael and Shankill.

The cross at Rathmichael is located in Shankill in a laneway. Rathmichael graveyard is nearby. The measurements of the arms of the cross are 56cm and it is 79cm high. Both faces of the cross depict the Crucifixion, a feature of the Fassaroe cross.

Interestingly the cross was moved once during the course of its history and later moved back. This occurred before 1837, the cross was moved to Shanganagh Castle. Details of this event are recorded in a pamphlet from the Gaelic League (Shankill branch) dating from 1906.

A visitor to the castle noticed the boulder (platform) for the cross was empty and succeeded in having the Cross moved back to its original location around 1910. Again this serves to illustrate how close the relationship is between man and the landscape and man often designs the landscape.

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