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Castletown and Glinsk High Cross
 

County

Offaly

Coordinates

N 53° 06' 11.0"   W 007° 41' 50.5"

Nearest town

Birr

Grid Ref.

N 20321 05842

Map No.

54

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

138

Date of visit

Monday 1 June 2009

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The high cross seen from the southwest. The shadow cast by the trees is ruining the reading of the carvings on the south side of the cross.


This wonderful high cross is in a corner of the court of the Kinnitty castle, a place for holidaymakers, ceremonies and so on. In fact the castle is now a hotel and restaurant.
The high cross is 30 metres east from the castle, surrounded by tall hedges and with the trees that cast shadow on the cross, which is a bad thing on a sunny day like when we visited the place, because the harsh contrast between the sunlit cross and the dark shadow on it hides and covers the details of the carving.
The high cross is 2.10 metres tall, 43 centimetres wide and only 16 centimetres thick. It stands on a stone base that is 70 centimetres tall and with a 70 by 100 centimetres plan.
The cross comes from a nearby monastery founded by St. Finan Cam in the 6th or 7th century, even though the cross may date back from the 10th century. When the cross was moved here it was erected in the wrong directions, so that the side that should face east now faces south and the west side now faces north.
On the original east side of the cross there's a crucifixion, while Adam and Eve are on the original west side.
The cross seems heavily ruined because the arms are missing as well as the ring around them. Halfway along the shaft there's an oblique crack in the stone, but this is more likely to be a difference in the kind of stone rather than a break.
In front of the high cross is a stone basin, probably a baptismal font from the monastery where the high cross once stood.


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