Donaghmore Cross

This sandstone cross survives from an early church on or near its present site, traditionally founded by St Patrick, who left the priest Colum there with book and bell.

An Early Christian bronze bell associated with Donaghmore parish, known as the Bell of Clogher, is in the National Museum, Dublin. The church later became a parish church. The present cross is made up of parts of two different crosses, the base and lower shaft not quite matching the upper shaft and head. It is known to have been thrown down in the 17th century and re-erected in the 18th century.

Its decoration includes an interesting mixture of figure-carving and motifs in distinctive circular, diamond-shaped and semi-circular frames. On the east side are the annunciation to the shepherds, the baptism, the adoration of the Magi, the miracle at Cana, the multiplication of loaves and fishes, the arrest or flagellation, and the crucifixion of Christ. On the west side are Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and the sacrifice of Isaac. There is a horseman, perhaps unfinished, on the west side of the base.

Like Ardboe cross (171), this one probably dates from the 10th century. In the adjacent graveyard is a fine bullaun stone, also many fine gravestones and a copy of the cross, made in 2000.

Source credit: Communities NI

Image: Heather McLaughlin