South Cross and Ruined Cross, Kells, County Meath


9th-10 century CE




Click here for the introduction on high crosses and other images of high crosses.

Click here to see details of the Muiredach Cross at Monasterboice.

The South Cross

 

Detail of cross arm and of the base with the inexplicable horsemen and soldiers

 

The Ruined Cross

The shaft of the Ruined Cross

Only the shaft survives of this cross. Like the Muiredach Cross, this cross has sides with abstract ornament and the front with narrative panels. What is depicted in the panel below? Help! Thanks to Doris Dittrich who sent this email: "I study Celtology in the University of Vienna and just yesterday had a lecture about the Irish High Crosses by Peter Harbison, who also wrote a great book about the issue. The panel you asked for is (according to his interpretation which seemed to be based on fundamental knowledge) the depiction of the baptism of Jesus Christ. The 2 figures on the left side of the panel are angels, also the little figure "floating" in the air. The two streams you see at the bottom of the panel are the two rivers Jor and Dan, who come together to be the Jordan, in which Jesus was baptised. The figure on the very right is John the baptiser, standing in the rivers, who pours water on the other figure standing in the water - Jesus."
 

Details of the shaft of the Ruined Cross





Click here to return to places index.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.


Copyright Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

Page maintained by Mary Ann Sullivan, sullivanm@bluffton.edu