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Clonca Cross
 

County

Donegal

Coordinates

N 55° 16' 03.96"   W 007° 10' 26.52"

Nearest town

Culdaff

Grid Ref.

C 52494 47049

Map No.

3

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

34

Date of visit

Monday 29 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The tall cross in the field with the high grass.


This is a really tall and slender cross. It has a height of 3.87 metres, stands on a base which is 75 centimetres high, for a total height of 4.62 metres!
The shaft is 40 centimetres wide and the arms open at 94 centimetres.
It's oriented east-northeast to west-southwest (70°-250°).
Only one arm of the cross is original, the rest of the head has been reconstructed with a plain piece of stone around 1980. The surviving arm has an unidentified human figure carved on the eastish side, probably an ecclesiastical person of the early monastery. The opposite side of this arm bears some interlaces.
The shaft is divided into decorated panels. The first panel on the east-northeast side, right under the head, is square and shows the Miracle of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish. The other three panels below are rectangular in shape and have interlaced motifs and spirals.
The west-southwest side of the shaft have a rectangular panel under the head with an interlaced pattern. The panel below shows two lions side by side, almost embracing each other, with what they seem two crozier heads. The panel below depicts two human figures that have been identified as the desert hermits St. Paul and St. Anthony. According to the legend, when St. Paul died at the age of 113, St. Anthony used his own tunic, that he received as a gift from the bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, to clothe and bury him in the desert. St. Anthony was helped in his digging by two lions. The following panel is rectangular and has interlaced patterns.
The head of another cross from the same period lies in the field, but on the day of our visit the grass was very high and we didn't find it, though we looked nearly everywhere.

We came here for the first time on May 6th, 2002.


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