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Kilnasaggart Cross Pillar
 

County

Armagh

Coordinates

N 54° 04' 20.2"   W 006° 22' 43.7"

Nearest town

Dundalk

Grid Ref.

J 06177 14893

Map No.

29

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

60

Date of visit

Tuesday 19 May 2009

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The southeast face of this fantastic pillar.


This wonderful granite cross pillar is a real treasure. Reaching it involves some problems, especially when the fields you have to walk across are marshes for the heavy rain. From where the signpost says there's the cross pillar, you have to walk southeast for 280 metres, until you reach a hedge enclosure with a metal turnstile. The cross pillar is inside the enclosure, protected from any cattle or sheep that could wander around.
The pillar is 2.15 metres tall, it's 50 centimetres wide and 20 centimetres thick at its base. Both faces are wonderfully carved.
The southeast face has two carved crosses. The upper one measures 40 by 27 centimetres, the lower one is inscribed into a circle with a diameter of 42 centimetres. Between the two crosses there's an inscription that reveals that this pillar was erected by Ternoc, son of Ceran Bic. Since Ternoc's death is recorded at 714 or 716 AD, this pillar can be dated to 700 AD.
On the northwest face of the pillar there are 10 small crosses carved in the granite. Nine of them are inscribed into a circle, with their diameters spanning from 13 to 22 centimetres.
At the base of the stone there are some carved and parallel marks that may make us think of an ogham inscription, but it's more likely they are knife-sharpening marks.
With a side light all the carvings come to life and the stone shines in a golden colour.


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