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Ardboe High Cross
 

County

Tyrone

Coordinates

N 54° 37' 10.26"   W 006° 30' 18.84"

Nearest town

Cookstown

Grid Ref.

H 96538 75614

Map No.

14

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

21

Date of visit

Sunday 7 May 2006

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The west face of the Ardboe cross.


The High Cross of Ardboe dates from the 10th century and is at the entrance of an old graveyard on the west shore of Lough Neagh. The cross stands to a height of about 5.5 metres, it's the tallest of the Northern Ireland and it's the third tallest cross in all Ireland.
The west face is richly decorated. Right under the crucifixion scene there's a carving depicting the arrest of Christ. Then, under a pattern decorated panel, there are other four scenes from the New Testament. The first one shows the entry of Christ to Jerusalem, the second scene shows the miracle of multiplication of loaves and fishes, the third one shows the miracle of Cana, and the last one shows the adoration of the Magi.
On the east face there are scenes from the Old Testament, like Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Isaac, Daniel and the Lions.
The cross is protected by a metal fence.

UPDATE: June 7th, 2017 - Since we were in the area, we decided to make a second stop at this place. This time I dedicated more time to the visit and focused on the details and decorations of the cross more thoroughly.
The cross is aligned east-west (90°-270°).

The cross is 4.78 metres tall and stands on a stepped base which is 85 centimetres high, for a total height of 5.63 metres. The shaft is 56 centimetres wide, the arms open at 1.81 metres. This is the tallest high cross in Northern Ireland and the only one to survive in a such a good condition.
The cross is divided in two halves and my impression was that the two halves came from two different crosses, because the width of the upper shaft is slighty higher than the lower shaft.

About 65 metres east from the cross there are the ruins of a 17th century church which stands on the site where St. Colman founded an early monastery in 590 AD.
Only the east-southeast (105°) and the west-northwest (285°) gables of the church survive in a rather good condition. The other two walls are low and ruinous. In the east-southeast wall there's a wide Gothic window overlooking Lough Neagh.

The first 6 photos in this page are from the first visit.


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