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St. Ailbe's Cross
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 27' 44.9"   W 008° 21' 05.8"

Nearest town

Emly

Grid Ref.

R 76151 34566

Map No.

65

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

126

Date of visit

Thursday 13 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The St. Ailbe's cross with its own sign. This is the west face.


Ailbe was born in the second half of the 5th century. He was son of the then King of Munster but he wasn't aknowledged by his father. The legend has it that he was raised by a wolf and then was fostered by the Britons living in Ireland. Ailbe went to Rome where he was ordained a priest and some years later he became a bishop, a few days before his return to Ireland. At Emly he founded a church and the town became the See of the Diocese.
He died in 528.
The plain cross in the graveyard is said to mark the burial place of St. Ailbe, whose feast day is September 12th, the day before the date we came here.
It is 1.43 metres tall, 40 centimetres wide at the base and 18 centimetres thick. The arms are almost non existent and coincide with the solid wheel of the head, they measure 55 centimetres. The cross leans to the south by 7°, and to the west by 6°.
Not far from this cross, about 3 metres to the northwest (300°), is another cross lying on the ground. It's broken in two pieces, head and shaft. The overall height of this cross is 2.11 metres, but I'm quite sure this is a much more modern cross belonging to a relatively recent burial.


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