Moone High Cross and Abbey, Co. Kildare.

Location – NE of the small villiage of Moone. I can’t give great directions to the cross because I got lost and stumbled across it. The current OS map isn’t up to date and the new road makes finding it difficult. Also there were road works in Ballitore which made things worse.
OS: S 789 927 (map 55)
Longitude: 6° 49' 26.89" W
Latitude: 52° 58' 44.93" N
GPS: S 78973 92686 (Accuracy: 5m)

Description and History – This high cross is simply stunning and colossal. It is nearly 5m tall and stands on the site of a 6th century Christian foundation of St Columcille. The cross is very well preserved because it was buried and only rediscovered in the 1850’s minus the shaft. It was re-erected in that state and only stood to a height of 2.5m. The shaft was rediscovered in the 1890’s and attached to the cross. The remains of the Abbey date to around 1800. Dating to the 10th century this cross depicts many biblical scenes including: Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Isaac, Daniel and the Lions, the children in the furnace, the flight into Egypt and the feeding of the five thousand. There is also the crucifixion and many Celtic patterns. There is a second cross here that survives only in fragments but the carving is fantastic. This cross has less human figures on it but many more patterns and animal designs. This cross would have been quite nice when it was complete but dwarfed by its partner. The two crosses are housed within the 14th century abbey which is having some conservation carried out on it at the moment. It appears to have been much modified in the past two centuries and hopefully the conservation work will restore some of these to their original form. While walking around the graveyard outside I stumbled across a cross base which is undecorated. Does this mean there was another cross at the site? This is well worth going and spending some time at as the cross is really beautiful and it takes a while to take it all in.

Difficulty – Hard to find and there isn’t much space for parking but navigating the site is easy enough.

For more ecclesiastical sites, click here.
For more sites in Co. Kildare, click here.

Pictures don't give a great idea of the scale of the cross.

The 12 disciples on the base of the cross.

The sacrifice of Isaac and Daniel and the lions.

The children in the furnace.

The flight into Egypt and the loaves and the fishes.

Adam and Eve.

Various animals on the shaft.

The crucifixion.

Fragments of the second cross.

The high cross base in the surrounding graveyard.

Part of the abbey. The shed is obviously modern.

Inside the abbey.

The roof was added in recent years to protect the cross.

The doorway has been altered.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map