The Ahenny High Crosses, near Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary

View of the North Cross at Ahenny, Co. Tipperary.

Ahenny is 8km north-north-east of Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. Travelling along the R697 road from Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary to Kilmaganny, Co. Kilkenny a minor road takes you west across the Lingaun river, through the small hamlet of Ahenny and at a T-junction south to the site of the monastic site of Kilclispeen. All that remains of the monastery are two ringed High Crosses in the cemetery of Ahenny which is in a field to the east of the road and some ruins of a church in a field to the north. The Ahenny Crosses are part of the Ossory Group which are believed to be the earliest crosses and date from the eigth to ninth centuries AD. The two stone crosses actually imitate wooden crosses that were encased in metal plates and are decorated with the type of geometric designs, interlacing and spirals found on contemporary metalwork. Both crosses have unusual bee-hive shaped hats that are only found on a few other crosses.

The north cross is of sandstone and 3.65m high. It is ornamented all over except for four figure scenes on the base. On the north side is a procession with chariot. On the south side is a funeral procession which has been identified as the funeral of Cormac Mac Cuilennain, Bishop-King of Munster, killed at the battle of Beach Mughma (Bellaghmoon), Co. Kildare in 908 AD. On the east side is Adam naming the animals. On the west side is the Mission of the Apostles and Seven Bishops.

View of the South Cross at Ahenny, Co. Tipperary.

The south cross is of sandstone and 3.35m high. It is ornamented all over except for four figured scenes on the base. The north side has hunting scenes, the east side includes Daniel in the Lion’s den. The south side has the fall of Man.

Further reading
Richardson, H. And Scarry, J. 1990. An Introduction to High Crosses. Dublin.

View Ahenny, Co. Tipperary in a larger map

GPS coordinates 52.412263,-7.394142

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