St. Cronan's High Cross




N 52° 57' 19.44"   W 007° 47' 44.82"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 13723 89422

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Tuesday 16 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The west-southwest (290°) side of the cross faces the road. A crucifixion is represented on the head.

The cross visible in the graveyard of the Church of Ireland church and next to the St. Cronan's church is a replica of the original that is now located in the museum across the road. When we arrived in Roscrea it was late in the afternoon and the museum was closed, so we had to settle with this replica.
The original dates to the 12th century, the same period of the monastery. The centuries and the weather have worn the details of the cross away, it seems that it was one of the most elaborate crosses of its type.
The cross is aligned east-southeast to west-northwest (110°-290°). The face at 110°, from top to bottom, shows the figure of a bishop, probably St. Cronan, holding a crozier. Below this figure are four panels, three of which depict animals, the bottom one shows Adam and Eve. The face at 290°, towards the street, shows the crucifixion in the centre of the head, the three panels along the shaft are very worn and might represent interlaced figures of animals. The north face, facing the St. Cronan's church remains, has the figure of an ecclesiastic wearing a long robe with a large belt hanging down. Just below the north arm of the cross are the intertwined figures of serpents and beasts. The south face, facing away from the ruins, has the figure of another ecclesiastic, probably a bishop because he holds a crozier. Under the south arm of the cross human heads can be seen.
The cross is 3.72 metres tall and stands on a base which is about 46 centimetres high. The cross is 1.50 metres wide at the arms and about 80 centimetres wide at the base, and is 42 centimetres thick.

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