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County Kildare History and Heritage

Moone High Cross, County Kildare

 

In 1835, while some work was being carried out in the graveyard of the ruined church, two sections of a high cross were discovered. They had been well-preserved and so the Duke of Leinster arranged for the re-erection of the cross. Later another section was found, but was not added to the cross for another sixty years.

Photo of Moone High Cross

The cross itself, stands 17½ feet high (this includes the base). It is reputed to date from the eighth century. Irish high crosses were not intended to mark out places of burial, but were constructed to act as embellishments or boundaries for monasteries, or indeed for didactic purposes of religious instruction. This is conclusive as the iconography of the cross pertains to that of the popular form of prayer at that time, with references to both the old and new testaments. The cross is an impressive monument and one of the best preserved of its kind in Ireland.