Downpatrick High Cross

Map Reference: J484445 (3484, 3445)

This cross stands just to the east of Downpatrick Cathedral. It is made of granite and is 3.35m high. The ringed head is slightly sunken on each face but not perforated. It may date from the 9th or 10th century. It was originally richly carved but is now greatly weathered. The E face of the head contains a Crucifixion with central figure flanked by a smaller figure on each arm. The carving on the W face is almost obliterated. The lower part of the shaft is now missing but lowest panel on the E side may represent Adam and Eve. Above this is a group of three figures with a group of three shorter figures in the next panel. The top panel may contain the lower parts of two figures but it is largely obliterated. The carvings on the W face represent, among others, a rider wearing headgear and holding a spear. On the S face of the shaft there are panels of interlacing but the ornament on the N face has completely disappeared.

The cross is now on display in the Museum and has been replaced by a very fine copy.

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