Irish High Crosses

Dysert O'Dea

St Tola's Cross

The 12th century White Cross of St Tola is located in a field about 100 metres east of the Romanesque Church. It is probably easier to visit the cross from the road that leads to Dysert O'Dea Castle, rather than crossing the field from the church. I say this because sometimes there is a bull present in this field. The east face of the cross is dominated by two high relief figures. The head bears a crucifixion with a fully clothed Christ. Below this is a carving of a bishop with a pointed mitre, believed to represent the founder of the monastery, St Tola. There is a hole where the right arm should be suggesting that a secondary piece was probably inserted here.

The east side of the base features worn interlacing with the inscription: 'This cross was newly repaired by Michael O'Dea son of Connor Crone O'Dea in the year 1683'. The head of the west face, facing the church, bears five lozenges surrounded with floral design. The west shaft bears interlacing in typical urnes style and the base bears an Adam and Eve carving. The iconography on the northside of the base is believed to depict the founding of the church. The base of the southside features Daniel in the Lions Den at the top with another inscription below. It reads ' Reerected by Francis Hutchinson Synge of Dysart fourth son of the late Sir Edward Singe Bart and Mary Helena his wife in the year 1871'.

West face

East face


Northside left and southside right

North base

South base

Pictured above are details from the East and South Faces. The Romanesque Church at the far side of the field features a stunning doorway and a Round Tower. To the south of the field is St Tola's Holy Well and nearby is the superb Dysert O'Dea Tower House.

Situated: From Ennis head northwest on the N85. Then Turn right onto the R476 for Corofin 4.7kilometres turn left for Dysert. Head for Dysert O'Dea Castle, See map. *Check for Bull in the field*.

Discovery Map: 57. R 2825 8482. Last Visit: July 2014.

Longitude: 9° 3' 60" W

Latitude: 52° 54' 34" N

Google Map

Nearest Crosses featured on this website

Corofin: 4.7 Kilometres N. Tau Cross From Roughan.

Kilfenora: 14 Kilometres NW.

Inishcaltra: 42 Kilometres East.


Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Previous-----Crosses Home-----Next