High Cross

East Face of the Cross

The cross is carved on two pieces of sandstone and stands on an undecorated plinth. The illustration depicts an excellent example of a figure sculptured Irish High Cross dating to around the 10th century. It is 3.95m high and 1.10m across the arms.

This side depicts scenes from the Old Testament. Starting at the bottom of the cross-shaft above a large interlaced knotwork panel is a depiction of Adam and Eve with a snake coiled around an apple tree; above this is a figure of a lion carved in high relief; then there is a panel of two male figures with the one on the left having a sword in his right hand probably showing Cain killing Abel, the sacrifice of Issac or David slaying Goliath.

The next panel displays Daniel in the Lion's Den, with an upright lion either side of him and below his out stretched arms.

In the centre of the cross is the second coming of Christ, the Last Judgement, with the heads of the Good facing him and the heads of the Damned facing away on either arm of the cross with possible angels above. In the background is an undecorated cross-shaft with the cross head missing and the round tower.

West Face Of Cross

The west side of Drumcliff High Cross also begins at the bottom with a large knotwork panel with scenes from the New Testament depicted above.

The first most likely depicts the Presentation of John the Baptist in the Temple with three figures, the central one being female holding a child.

Above this is a camel carved in high relief and then a panel showing the Second Mocking of Christ, with Christ in the centre and two soldiers either side holding his arms; the one on the right appears to be striking Christ on the cheek.

The next panels has two figures with one possibly holding a child and may depict the Holy Family returning from Egypt.

The centre of the cross-shaft depicts the Crucifixion of Christ and two small figures either side are the Roman soldiers Stephaton with vinegar and Longiunus raising his lance.


previousPrevious - Drumcliff
Next - Round Towernext