Clogher High Cross




N 54° 24' 36.78"   W 007° 10' 21.6"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

H 53708 51609

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Wednesday 1 July 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The two high crosses seen from the west.

In the grounds of St. Macartan's Cathedral in Clogher there are two high crosses.
Macartan was the leader of a group of warriors. When St. Patrick met him, Macartan followed St. Patrick's teaching and founded a monastery at Clogher around 490.
More than one church was built at this site during the last ten centuries, and the present building was erected in 1744.

Actually there are two recontructed crosses using sections of at least four different earlier crosses.
They have been recontructed one next to the other, about 85 centimetres apart, on the southwest (240°) side of the cathedral.
The reconstruction is evident because the upper sections of both crosses are narrower than the lower part of the shafts.

The southeast cross is the taller, standing at 2.06 metres of height on a base that is 69 centimetres high. The total height is 2.75 metres. The cross is 43 centimetres wide at the base of the shaft, the shaft below the head is 34 centimetres, the arms are 1.08 metres wide, and it's 30 centimetres thick at the base of the shaft and 19 centimetres at the head.
The upper part of the head is missing. On the northeast side is a central boss witha geometric matrix carved on its surface. On the upper shaft there's an incomplete panel with nine small bosses, and a complete panel of small bosses on the lower shaft. The other side has a large boss decorated with an interlaced motif in the centre of the head, an incomplete panel of celtic knots on the upper shaft and a similar complete panel on the lower shaft.

The northwest cross is 1.61 metres tall, it stands on a base 61 centimetres high, so the total height is 2.22 metres. It's 35 centimetres wide at the base of the shaft, with a width reduced to 25 centimetres below the head. The arms open at 63 centimetres. The cross is 27 centimetres thick at the base of the shaft and 19 centimetres at the head.
The northeast face of the head of this cross is decorated with a four-point knot, though it seems that the lower point is a pair of talons. The head is unpierced and there are four small round protuberances inwards from the ring. Halfway on the shaft is an intricate spirals motif. The southwest face has an interlaced pattern on the nead and a diamond shape decorated with interlaced knots on the shaft.
This cross leans to the south-southwest by 6°.

Between the two crosses is a fragment of another cross shaft, and next to the smaller cross there's a fragment of a bullaun stone.

Someone has had the brilliant idea to have their family grave dug right behind the two crosses!
This could undermine the stability of the crosses.

We came and visited these two crosses for the first time on September 10th, 2003.

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