Ballymore South High Cross in 3D
Text and Model by Seán Sourke
High Cross (National Monument KD029-011007-)
One of two High Crosses of uncertain date, ranging from the 10th to 12th century, located in the churchyard of St John’s Church of Ireland, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare (North Cross available here). The cross, originally ringed, is of granite and appears to be carved from two separate pieces; the shaft and ringed head constituting one piece are seated into another single piece of granite that forms a steeply tapering base. The cross is significantly eroded and damaged. The head (which included the ring, the arms, and the pinnacle) is broken away from the shaft just above the springing of the ring and is now lost.
Prior to this model, the only recorded carvings on this cross were the roll mouldings around the base and the shaft edges, along with the raised triangle motifs at the bottom of the shaft. The model helped identify that the base’s panels on the west and east faces were once decoratively carved. The west has a circular motif while that on the east is beyond identification.
NOTE: This model requires good bandwidth and a reasonably powerful computer to view successfully, as the download size is 81MB.
Annotations on the Model
1. South High Cross, Ballymore Eustace
This cross, originally ringed, is carved from granite and appears to consist of two separate pieces; the shaft and ringed head constituting one piece are seated into another single piece of granite that forms a steeply tapering base.
The cross is heavily covered by lichens and mosses resulting in it being easily overlooked by visitors to the graveyard. It is also significantly eroded and damaged, most notably missing its head.
2. Decorative Carvings
Prior to this model the only recorded carvings on the cross were the roll mouldings around the base and shaft edges, and the raised triangle motifs at the bottom of the shaft.
3. Base – West Facing Panel
This model led to the discovery of a previously unrecorded carving. Though badly eroded, the carving is discernible as a circular motif with some internal and peripheral elements, all carved within the roll moulded west facing panel of the base.
4. Extended Base
The possibility of an extended base existing below the present ground level has also been noted from the model. This raises the potential for more carvings to be discovered if a future excavation were to take place.
5. Base – East Facing Panel
Though much eroded, this panel also shows signs that it once held a decorative carving.
The upper head, including the centre of the cross, the arms, and the upper ring, has been broken away from the shaft just above the springing of the rings, and is now missing.