Irish High Crosses


Situated in an old graveyard in Kilkenny is the High Cross of Killamery one of the western Ossory group of crosses. The cross stands at 3.65 metres high and the west face of the cross bears most of the figure sculpture. The east face pictured right, is decorated with three marigolds on the shaft and has a boss in the centre of the head surrounded by intertwining serpents with an open mouthed dragon above the boss. The cross is known as the Snake-Dragon cross. The cross has a gabled cap-stone and the narrow sides have double mouldings. At the end of the southern arm of the cross there is a panel depicting Noah in the Ark and the end of the northern arm features four scenes centered around John the Baptist. There is also a worn inscription on the base of the western side of the cross which is said to read as 'OR DO MAELSECHNAILL' a prayer for Maelsechnaill. Maelsechnaill was the High King of Ireland from 846 to 862.

West face

East Face

The western face has a sun swastika at the centre and has figure sculpture around the whorl, to the left is a hunting scene and to the right a chariot scene above the whorl is scene showing a figure holding a baby with another figure to the right of them, below the sun disc is a crucifixion scene. The figures are badly weathered and very difficult to make out. The shaft of this face bears two ornate panels. The top one is a fret pattern and the lower panel is a key pattern.

Bullauns and Cross slab

Also present at the site amongst the grazing sheep, is the wonderfully inscribed cross slab, pictured below, and two bullaun stones, one of the stones is holed all the way through and the other stone is slightly broken. The slab bears a cross and the same inscription twice


Another feature present at the site is a very neglected Holy well just down the steps on the north side of the cross.

The inscribed cross slab

Bullaun stone (1)

Bullaun stone (2)

Situated: From Clonmel take the N76 North, approximately 1.5 Kilometres after Ninemilehouse take a right turn, signposted Killamery High Cross. About 150 metres down this road is a track to your right, walk 100 metres up the track and you will see the cross standing in an old graveyard to your right.

Group: Western Ossory

Google Map.

Discovery Map: 67 S 3763 3613. Last Visit: Apr 2007.

Longitude: 7° 26' 46" W

Latitude: 52° 28' 32" N

Nearest High Crosses featured on this web site

Ahenny: 8 Kilometres SSE.

Kilkieran: 10 Kilometres SSE.

Kilree: 14 Kilometres ENE.

Graiguenamanagh: 34 Kilometres ENE

Ullard: 37 Kilometres ENE.


Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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