Celtic Cross of Ardboe
Weight: 11.50 Grams
Celtic Cross of Ardboe
This cross is a double-sided replica of the original cross. Handmade and hallmarked in Ireland.
The beautifully carved high crosses of early Christian times are unique to Ireland and Britain and are famous through Europe. The finest of them are the Scripture Crosses which tell the Bible story in a series of detailed panels. The fullest series of scenes is on the tall cross at Ardboe in Tyrone, on the west shore of Lough Neagh, not far from Coagh.
The cross at Ardboe is unusually tall, standing some 5.6 metres high. It is profusely decorated by abstract designs and a series of figure sculptures which are treated with exceptional detail and fullness. The balance between form and decoration; between ornament and narrative; and the delicate execution of the abstract design, contrasting with the robust and lively realism of the figure sculpture, all combine to set this cross amongst the most distinguished of the Irish monuments. The East face is distinct, though shadowed for most of the morning by a nearby tree, and has Daniel between two rampant lions, the Sacrifice of Isaac, the Children in the Fiery Furnace, Adam and Eve, two souls in scales above the flames of Hell (as at Monasterboice) and, surrounding Christ in Judgement, the Twelve Apostle in groups of four - the heads of which are not unlike those on the late Romanesque door at Clonfert, Co. Galway - repeating the arrangement on the N. Cross at Castledermot. The South side has old Testament scenes including Cain and Abel, and scenes from the life of David, including David with an open sling before Goliath on his knees, as at Monasterboice.
The North side has New Testament scenes, including the Baptism of Christ at the bottom, and a child held between soldiers, representing the Massacre of the Innocents.
The West face also has New Testament scenes, including the Adoration of the Magi; the Last Supper; Christ entering Jerusalem; the Arrest of Christ; and the Crucifixion. The scene of the Arrest appears to be repeated on each arm of the cross. This cross is one of the most beautifully sited of all the High Crosses of Ireland ...down a narrow road, it stands majestic, overlooking the ruins of a church and beside a graveyard which runs down to the shores of Lough Neagh - the largest lake in Ireland; nearby there is a "wishing tree" - altogether a lovely place to visit on a summer's day. One can imagine the celebrations that must have taken place on the day this great cross was placed in position.