Dunnamaggan Church, Kilkenny, Ireland

Recently on a trip to Kilkenny I stopped off at the ruins of Dunnamaggan Church to see the unusual ancient cross that stands in its graveyard. Not a huge amount is known about the origin of Dunnamaggan Church but its believed to date from the late 12th or early 13th century. All that remains of the building is the well preserved north wall, about a metre in thickness, and parts of the east and west walls. The cross that stands beside the church is also of unknown origin but is believed to be connected to a local St Leonard. What is striking and unique about this cross is that unlike any I have seen before the four holes that make up the wheel at the top of the shaft are of different shapes. The top two perforations are square while the bottom two are round. The cross measures 2 metres in height and the worn figures may represent a crucifixion scene. The church seems to have fallen into ruin at an early enough date and may have been no longer in use by the time of the 16th century reformation as indicated by ‘The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory’ compiled in 1905.

GPS: 52.50044, -7.29221


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