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Clonmacnoise South Cross

by McHarp

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Clonmacnoise South Cross.

In a remote spot by the River Shannon the monastery Clonmacnois, was founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran, on a fertile meadow surrounded by a bob. The name means “the meadow of the son of Nos”. It could be reached only by river along a ridge known as the Pilgrims’ Road. Clonmacnois lay at a crossroads of medieval routes, linking all parts of Ireland. Known for its scholarship and piety, as well as a sculpture workshop, it thrived from the 7th to the 12th century. The monastery once had four high crosses; only two are intact today. The South Cross is thought to date from the 8th century and so it would be the oldest at Clonmacnois. It is 9 feet high and made of the three pieces of sandstone with hatched molding. It marks a transition from the Ahenny crosses to the crosses with biblical scenes, and has links with Iona in the adoption of raised bosses. The vine in the bottom panel of the cross is inhabited with birds and animals, is the Celtic version of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life evoked life, longevity, spiritual growth, rebirth and a ongoing search for spiritual fulfillment.

From: Co. Offaly, Ireland

Dimensions: 12 ¼” x 5 ½”

Due to the hand casting and proprietary staining process, each of my plaques is unique. Each cross comes with a hanger embedded in the stone. The cross comes with a descriptive tag describing the original stone, explanation of the design or information on where the cross is located.

Handmade products – Images may vary slightly from actual products.


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