Moone is one of the oldest inhabited areas in
Kildare, with evidence of settlement going back 6000 years. In the sixth century St.
Colmcille founded a monastery here. In the Martyrology of Donegal and the Book of
Kismore the location is called "Maen Colum Cille" or property of
Moone was christianised by
the Roman bishop, Palladius. When St. Patrick planned to visit the town from
Glenealy the residents of Moone laid traps for him considering him a heretic.
Patrick was warned by a woman called Brigitta and took evasive action
by skirting the town. As he passed, he blessed Brigitta, and cursed Moone saying no
more men born there would ever become King or bishop, and there never has been a bishop
In the Centre of the
village two tall pillars are all that remain of the Belan House estate, once the home of
the Earls of Aldborough. Follow the road that passes through these pillars to visit
one of Kildare's most important historical monuments, Moone High Cross. The
cross stands in the ruins of a 13th century church, and is one of four crosses which would have originally defined the Abbey
property. Moone High Cross, or the South cross, is the only one to have
surviving intact. However, fragments remain of the West, East and North crosses, but not
in there original positions. Nearby is a 15th century tower and a an 18th century
house, which are private.
MOONE HIGH CROSS (The South Cross)
This cross dates back to the
8th century. It is a granite ringed cross in three sections which stands inside side
of the medieval church. Decoration consists of panels with scriptural scenes carved
in false relief. The base is a tall rectangular block with a truncated pyramid on
top. This cross was found about 1835 buried in Moone Abbey Churchyard, near the
South eastern wall of the old Abbey church, and since its restoration measures 17 and a
half feet from platform to submit. On the face of this cross is the figure of Jesus
crucified with arms extended, and a fish like dolphin over his head.
The lower panel depicts Daniel in the Lions Den. Mid panel depicts sacrifice
of Issac and upper panel is Adam and Eve.
Lower panel depicts loaves and fishes, mid panel depicts the flight in to Egypt.
The upper panel depicts three children in the fiery furnace.
The lower panel extends into the mid panel depicts the twelve apostles, and the
upper panel depicts the crucifixion.
The lower panel depicts two animals with scrolls on their backs, the ends of
which interlace and have heads as terminals, the mid panel depicts man between two beasts.
The upper panel depicts Paul and Anthony in the desert.
Cross head: Christ in Majesty. Shafts panels are filled with interlace,
animals and abstract motifs.
Panels decorated with animals and figures, every second panel is undecorated.
Cross-head: large spiral with small panels in the arms. Shaft panels are
filled with animals among which are a cow, a deer and two dogs. The Panel below the
ring has a diamond shaped design on a background of small bosses. The upper panel
has a six spiral pattern.
Again every second panel on the shaft and ring have animals or interlace while
every other panel is blank.
Pre 1200: A granite base of
a cross is deeply buried in the grounds of the graveyard, North East of the church.
Pre 1200: An undecorated pyramidal shaped granite base of a cross is
situated in a wooded field to the North of the medieval church.
Pre 1200: There is a cross base situated immediately North of the South cross.
It is a two stepped undecorated pyramidal shaped granite base with small
mortice. There is a rebate around the mortice and one side of the base has
HOLED STONE CROSS
There is an upper part of a cross at Moone, it is now lying in fragments.
These fragments originally belonged to one block of granite. There are three
in number, and consist of the lower portion of the head, the upper part of the shaft, and
one arm of the cross. Both faces are sculptured. Three different animals are
represented on one of the faces, and on one of them can be recognised a strange beast,
which is also to be seen on the south side of the High Cross, which stands close by.
The points where the ring of the cross started are quite visible in the edges of these
fragments. There is a great round hole opened to the sky, with the edges of the
circle well rounded and polished. There are four serpents entwining their tails