St. Ruadhan's Cross




N 53° 05' 29.2"   W 008° 07' 13.5"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

M 91983 04512

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Saturday 5 June 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The west wall of the old church. The stump of the first cross is visible at the right-hand side of the photo.

In the graveyard of the St. Ruadhan's abbey, now in ruins, there are the sorry remains of two high crosses. They date back to 750 and it's said they're among the oldest crosses in all Ireland.
St. Ruadhan, educated by St. Finian in Clonard and known as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, founded a monastery at this place in 540 and he was the first abbot of this monastery, which was the most famous one of Munster in his times. The present ruined building was built around the year 1000.
St. Ruadhan is famous also for his prophecy about the death of Diarmait Mac Cerbaill, a High King of Tara, who died in 565 right as St. Ruadhan had said.
The church has a nice doorway on its south wall which once was the east window of the nearby Augustinian abbey. A carved head above this doorway represents Walter de Burgh, the founder of the main church in Lorrha.
A more modern church has been built attached to these ruins.
The first stump of a cross is 6 metres west from the ruined abbey, it's 1.15 metres tall, 35 centimetres wide and 30 centimetres thick. Its base is a massive one and measures 1.52 metres by 1.40 metres and has a height of 45 centimetres.
The second cross is much shorter. It's 35 metres northwest from the first one. It's only 53 centimetres tall, with a width of 35 centimetres and a thickness of 25 centimetres. The base where it stands on has a height of 1.05 metres and measures 1 metre by 90 centimetres.

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