Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Kilkieran High Cross, Kilkenny

Kilkieran High Cross


Kilkieran is a beautiful place to visit at any time and the fact that there are actually three
High Crosses here along with numerous other objects of interest is really just an added bonus.

Kilkieran High Cross

The area is also called Castletown townland and it's quite picturesque and surrounded by pleasant green countryside and small rolling hills in Kilkenny.

Kilkieran Unique High Cross

The name is derived from combining the Irish word for Church, Cill, with Kieran to arrive at Kilkieran, although which Kieran seems to be anyones guess as I can find no definitive answer to this.

Kilkieran decorated High Cross

Was it named after Ciarán of Clonmacnoise,
Ciarán of Saighir, or a completely different Ciarán altogether (Kieran), who knows?

Kilkieran High Cross

There is no church standing there now however the ruins of a stone church were converted into a mausoleum which fell into disrepair
but has now been tidied up and consists of a small rectangular slab surrounded by what remains of the walls.

Kilkieran Bullaun Stone

The site is very well maintained and while there I had a nice chat with a local man who was pulling Ivy off the walls of the enclosure.

Kilkieran High Cross

There is a very unusual High Cross here which is one of the few in Ireland that doesn't have a "Celtic Cross" type ring that are generally associated with most of these Crosses.
It is a tall slim Cross with notches carved into the shaft and it's quite beautiful in its setting.

Kilkieran High Cross

Of the other two High Crosses, one is an undecorated Cross while another has a depiction of eight horsemen on its base and is richly decorated with carvings.


There is also the decorated shaft of a fourth High Cross here but its carvings are badly weathered and hard to make out.
The Kilkieran High Crosses are believed to date from the 8th or 9th Century.

Kilkieran High Cross

These High Crosses belong to the "Ossory Group" of Crosses, Ossory being once an ancient Irish Kingdom.
Two of the High Crosses have caps which are interpreted by some to represent Mitres, a type of hat worn by Bishops.

Kilkieran High Cross

A peculiar and interesting little Standing Stone is located near the undecorated Cross and there are a variety of Millstones and Bullaun Stones at Kilkieran which were unearthed in the general area and placed here.

Kilkieran High Cross

Saint Kierans Well is also located here and there is a large Bullaun or Font beside it. Its waters are reputedly a curative for headaches or pains of the head.

Kilkieran High Cross

In a corner near the entrance is a modern post stone marked "Strangers Corner" which I found to be a touching marker for those who rest here unknown but not unremembered.
It struck me as a poignant reminder of just how fortunate we often are and sometimes take this for granted.

Kilkieran High Cross

There is probably more local history associated with Strangers Corner but I haven't any more information on this.

Kilkieran High Cross

I reached Kilkieran when the weather was overcast and misty so my photographs don't properly represent the beauty of the area.

Kilkieran High Cross

The collection of varied Bullaun Stones held my attention and curiosity for a while and overall I really enjoyed my trip to this tranquil and secluded site which was wonderful to vist.

Kilkieran High Cross

A collection of Bullaun Stones at Kilkieran.

Kilkieran High Cross

Signage board at Kilkieran.

Kilkieran High Cross

The undecorated High Cross at Kilkieran.

Kilkieran High Cross

Kilkieran High Cross

Pictured below is the small Standing Stone at Kilkieran.

Kilkieran High Cross

A marker to remember those who are interred at Kilkieran but were unknown, possibly travellers on the road or paupers.

Kilkieran High Cross

Coordinates Here :

52°23'53.8"N 7°22'44.9"W

52.398288 - 7.379141


Sites nearby to visit

Killamery High Cross Here :

Ahenny High Cross Here :

Kilree Round Tower and High Cross Here :

Kells Priory Here :


Possible Road Trip in Ossory, pictured below :

Kilkieran Road Trip









Monday, 3 August 2020

Ahenny High Cross, Kilkenny

Ahenny High Crosses


Ahenny High Cross.

In the small rural village of Ahenny in Tipperary are not one, but two beautiful High Crosses.
Ahenny lies in Tipperary but is also quite close to the Kilkenny Border.

Ahenny High Cross.

The Ahenny High Crosses are of a type belonging to a class of High Cross called the
"Ossory group."
These are found chiefly throughout Kilkenny and Tipperary in parts of what was once the "Kingdom of Ossory."

Ahenny High Cross.

The site at Ahenny is called Kilclispeen and there is a plaque inserted into the entrance which reads
" Kilclispeen Churchyard 1843."

Ahenny High Cross.

It's believed the Ahenny High Crosses date from around the 8th Century and that originally a Monastery was located here.

Ahenny High Cross.

There is occasional mention of a Saint Crispen asociated with Ahenny but there are no records of such a figure to be found nor any trace of an early Monastery.

Ahenny High Cross.

There is also the base socket of a third High Cross here at Ahenny so it was obviously a very important early ecclesiastical site.

Ahenny High Cross.

The wonder of places like Ahenny is that today such locations seem remote and sparsely inhabited yet in their heyday they must have had large numbers of Monks living on site with large numbers of people living nearby and in close proximity.

Ahenny High Cross.

Early monasteries were small centres of industry engaged in farming both livestock and tillage, brewing, writing, milling, and possibly carving and metalworking.

Ahenny High Cross

I'm not an archaeologist but there are mention of several monasteries where the Monks numbered in their thousands. To maintain such large settlements would have required considerable self sustaining resources and local trade.

Ahenny High Cross.

The Ahenny High Crosses are very richly decorated and the carvings have survived over 1200 years of Irish weathering.

Ahenny High Cross.

Covered in spirals, knotwork and pictorial representations they are a beautiful monument to the skill of the craftworkers who carved them all those years ago.

Ahenny High Cross.

Some of the Caps on Crosses of the "Ossory group" are thought to represent a Mitre, a type of hat worn by Bishops.

Ahenny High Cross.

With Waterford, Kilkenny and Tipperary so close by as well it makes for a wonderful place to visit and is a very scenic area, well worth visiting at any time of year.

Ahenny High Cross.

Coordinates Here:

52°24'50.7"N 7°23'36.2"W

52.414074 -7.393397


My photo's were taken on a particularly overcast day and don't do the area justice.
 
Kells Priory Here :

Kilree Round Tower and High Cross Here :

Killamery High Cross
and Saint Nicholas' Well Here : 


Suggested Road Trip picture below:

Route



Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Killamery High Cross, Kilkenny

Killamery High Cross

 

Killamery High Cross is located in a picturesque area of County Kilkenny and while quite close to the N76 it still feels like it's remote and rural.

Killamery High Cross

It's believed Killamery was first established in 632 by Saint Gobban (Góban) however today it is associated with Saint Nicholas. 
First views of Killamery are dominated by the ruins of an early 1800's Board of First Fruit Church.

Killamery High Cross

Saint Nicholas is reputedly buried at the Church in the 
"lost town" of Newtown Jerpoint, an old abandoned medieval settlement not far from Jerpoint Abbey.

Killamery High Cross

The High Cross at Killamery is believed to date from the late 8th or early 9th Century, one of the "Ossory" group of High Crosses. 

Killamery High Cross, Bullaune Stones

It is richly decorated with a flower pattern of Marigolds, Snakes devouring each other and a Monster type creature which is a bit weathered. 

Killamery High Cross

Several panels have interlaced lozenge patterns on them and there is an inscription in Irish on the base of the cross but it has long since been weathered away. 

Killamery High Cross

The arms of the Cross are also decorated with intricate patterns and the cap of the Cross resembles a Gabled Roof and is fully intact.

 Killamery High Cross

It's a tranquil and quiet site with several other interesting relics around it including Bullaun stones, Holed stones, an inscribed medieval carved Cross Slab and Saint Nicholas' Holy Well which has an unusual "Gabled" style covering over it.

Killamery High Cross, Saint Nicholas Well

There is also a plaque mounted on the wall into Killamery commerating those who died in the 1798 United Irishmen rebellion.

Killamery High Cross

Close to Killamery are Ahenny and Kilkieran which both contain several beautiful examples of Irish High Crosses as well.

Killamery High Cross

Nearby is Knockroe Passage Tomb which is the ruin of an unusual Passage Tomb in that both passages are aligned with the Sun at different times, Sunrise and Sundown on the Winter solstice. There are also some nice examples of neolithic Rock Art at Knockroe.

Killamery High Cross, Saint Nicholas Well

There are specific "Dark Green" coloured signs around here which must have been created for sites of interest in this area and they can be spotted as you travel about. 

Killamery High Cross

The signs are very useful in finding your way around and navigating to sites of interest in the area. 

Killamery High Cross

Killamery exudes a feeling of calmness and peace and is a nice spot to relax for a few minutes leaving behind the 21st Century for a moment or two.

Killamery High Cross, 1798 Memorial

All in all Killamery is quiet and tranquil, well worth a visit in its own right if you are in the area or travelling through. 

Coordinates for Killamery :
52°28'34.8"N 7°26'40.0"W
52.476328 - 7.444452

Killamery High Cross


Killamery High Cross


Kells Priory here :

Kilree Round Tower and High Cross here :

Ahenny High Crosses here :