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Eglish Cross
 

County

Armagh

Coordinates

N 54° 23' 38.28"   W 006° 45' 35.46"

Nearest town

Benburb

Grid Ref.

H 80537 50192

Map No.

19

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

96

Date of visit

Wednesday 1 July 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The only surviving part of the old church is the west gable.


Eglish comes from the Irish An Eaglais, that means The Church. This might indicate that this place was an important religious site in the past. A church migh have been erected here in the 12th century, but nothing remains of it. The present ruins are from a church built in 1720 and replaced one century later by a new church. Of the 18th century church only the west gable remains. The other walls have left traces on the ground. It was aligned to the east-southeast (100°), was 18 metres long and 9 metres wide.
The most interesting things here are two fragments of stone crosses, probably from the 10th century.
They are a North Cross and a South Cross.
The North Cross now stands on a new shaft set into a base, but until 1970s it stood directly on the base. The head has an unpierced wheel. There's one large central boss decorated with spirals on the north (10°) side and 9 small bosses on the south side. The west arm is in much better conditions that the east one. The only decorations of this cross are the double framing near every edge. It is 1.64 metres tall with a pyramidal base 33 centimetres high. It is 38 centimetres wide at the shaft and 87 centimetres wide at the arms, and 21 centimetres thick.
The South Cross is much more ruined. Only the upper hlf of the head survives and it has been set onto a modern altar-like stand. Both faces have a hollow in the centre of the head, with the same double framing at the edges as the South Cross. The concrete stand is 1.09 metres tall, the cross has a width of 78 centimetres and a thickness of 21 centimetres, and a residual height of about 48 centimetres. This cross head has trace of a tenon on the top edge, this might suggest that it had a finial.
The coordinates for this page have been taken at the North Cross.


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