Castledermot, High Cross (South Cross), Co. Kildare.

Description and History – Another 9th century high cross and this one is perfectly executed and is the more impressive of the two crosses, although there is little in it.  This cross has biblical scenes on its W face and geometric designs on its E face.  The crucifixion is in the centre of the head of the cross while Daniel, David, Isaac, Anthony with Paul take up the arms. Adam and Eve also appear on this cross but this time on the shaft.  The base depicts many animals. Although the E face has no biblical scenes it is, in my mind, the more impressive side of the cross.  The geometric designs hark back to the earlier pagan history of Ireland and this cross seems to present an Ireland in transition from polytheism to monotheism.  There are few crosses that can beat this one in terms of beauty.

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The W face of the cross.

The E face.

Looking through the swearing stone.

The W face of the head with the crucifixion.

The E face of the head.  This really has some wonderful geometric designs.

Detail of the W shaft.


Daniel and the Lions on the W face.

Adam and Eve.

Base of the W face.

The S face of the shaft.

Loaves and fishes in the E face of the base.

Geometric designs on the E face.

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