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Athcarne Cross
 

County

Meath

Coordinates

N 53° 37' 38.94"   W 006° 26' 57.84"

Nearest town

Duleek

Grid Ref.

O 02565 65304

Map No.

43

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

37

Date of visit

Monday 5 June 2017

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The southeast face of this wonderful cross bears the carving of a crucifixion.


Another cross in the series of the Dowdall crosses. Unlike the other crosses of the same series, this one was erected much later by Dame Cecilia Bathe as a memorial for her husband Sir Luke Bathe and herself. She lived in the nearby Athcarne Castle, now in ruins.
On the southeast (110°) face of the cross is depicted a large crucifixion of Christ. The figure of Christ has his hands raised almost vertically above his head, possibly to fit within the narrow frame of the cross. His feet rest on a skull.
The other side (northwest 290°) has a richer decoration. The central figure, in a shallow niche, is the Pietà, the Virgin with her Child, like on other crosses in the area. On the top of this face is an image representing a cock standing on a helmet. The shield below it depicts the Instruments of Christ's Passion. Two lines under this shield read "SU GLORIA/IN CRUCE". At the bottom of the shaft, is the Bathe-Dowdall family's coat of arms. At the very bottom of the shaft is a fret pattern.

The northeast side has a carved inscription, but only the first lines are still readable, "Erected by Dame Cecilia Bathe...".

Winged heads of angels with Maltese crosses adorn all sides of the domed cap.

The cross stands on pedestal supported by two concrete buttresses. Beneath all is a concrete platform. The cross is 2.45 metres tall, is 34 centimetres wide and 15 centimetres thick. The short arms of the cross open at 64 centimetres. The figures on each side project by about 5 centimetres from the surface. The pedestal is about 63 centimetres high, for a total height of 3.08 metres above the concrete platform.

The cross is broken in three parts, held together by concrete and a wide steel bracket.


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