Irish High Crosses


High Cross

The name Monaincha is from the Irish 'Mainistir Inse na mBeo' ( Island of the living ). A monastery was founded here on a small island by St Elair during the 8th century, the land around the island was drained during the 18th century leaving the monastery as a mound in a boggy field. Immediately in front of the church are the fragments of two crosses mounted together, the head of the cross dates to the twelfth century and bears a high relief crucified Christ on the west face and the heads of two figures on the north face, there are also some very weathered celtic designs on the underside of the ring and north head. The base of the cross dates to the 9th century and although very weathered bears carved horsemen.



West face

The church as you approach

West doorway


The remains of the church date to the 12th century and it has a finely decorated romanesque west doorway pictured left and chancel arch. At the end of the 12th century the monastery became Augustinian.

The Celi De monks had previously moved onto the island around the year 800, and brought with them a much stricter way of living.




Situated: From Roscrea drive north east along the Dublin road till you come to a roundabout, then take the exit for Monaincha monastic site, from here the route is well sign posted. The last turn for Monaincha Abbey is along a narrow track and it may be better to walk the last 300 metres.

Google Map.

Discovery Map: 60 S 1693 8840. Last Visit: Aug 2005

Longitude: 7° 44' 53" W

Latitude: 52° 56' 46" N

Nearest High Crosses featured on this website.

Roscrea: 2.5 Kilometres WNW.

Seir Kieran: 14 Kilometres. N.

Kinnitty: 17 Kilometres NNE.

Clonmacnois: 45 Kilometres NNW.

Durrow: 45 Kilometres NNE.


Pics Jim Dempsey.

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