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The Stone Crosses of Kilfenora by Jack Flanagan

The North Cross

Near the north western corner of the Cathedral graveyard stands a cross, whence its name, the North Cross. Up to about 1955 it was buried deeply at the head of a grave of a family in the parish. About that time it was raised and reset in the same position, so now it stands about two meters tall. The cross looks early in design and has no ring, so in all respects it looks like it was designed as a marker for the lands around the Abbey.

On the east face there is a boss in the centre of the head, perhaps signifying the cosmos. Below this, along the edge of the shaft, is a line ending in reversing spirals, suggesting coming and going, life and death. On the west face are three large knotwork panels of different design, while yet again there are two small pairs of spirals.

There is a strong tradition, held by some local people, that this cross was taken from its site by horse and cart, and placed at the head of the grave that belonged to a Quinn family. This family’s residence was on high ground north of Ballyshanny House, so it is possible that the cross stood on their land, which would be directly north of the cross that was situated south of the village.

The North Cross


The Ballykeal Cross


The South Cross