Monasterboice A must see if you are Visiting Ireland’s Ancient East
Monasterboice is Thought to have Been Founded by ST. Buithe, a Follower of ST. Patrick , in the late 5th Century AD.
Like most Saints ST. Buithe Followed ST. Patrick to Ireland to introduce Christianity to Ireland. ST. Buithe is credited with giving the River Boyne it’s name and was Also that Important that a Ladder was sent directly from Heaven for Him when he Passed Away.
At Monasterboice you have two Beautiful Celtic, Biblical High crosses dating back to 923AD and one of the Tallest Round Towers in Ireland standing over 110 feet tall set in a Beautiful Old Graveyard which is very well kept by the Local Community.
The two High crosses at Monasterboice are Muiredach’s Cross which stands 5,5m in Height or 16 feet. The Second Cross is The West Cross which is the Tallest High Cross in Ireland standing over 6,5m in Height, The West Cross is situated in front of The Round Tower.
My personal Favourite cross is Muiredach’s Cross. Considering it dates back to 923AD, The Cross is in remarcable condition.
Both crosses depict the Testaments. On Muiredach’s Cross you have the Old and New Testaments.
On The Eastern side of this cross you have from the Bottom up.
Adam and Eve.
Cain and Able.
David and Goliath,
Moses bringing water from the Rock to the Israelites;
The Three Magi bearing Gifts to Mary and Jesus.
ST. Michael Weighing The Souls.
On the Center of The Cross on the East side face depicts The Last Judgment , with The saved led by David with a Harp on Christ’s right and the Dammed on the Left and Above that is ST.PAUL in the Desert .
The Western face of Muiredach’s cross is the New Testament.
From the Bottom Up.
The Arrest of Christ.
Doubting Thomas with Another Figure ST, John The Evangelist Who recorded the Story.
Christ giving the keys of Heaven to ST.Peter and a Book to ST. Paul and Moses praying with Aaron and Hur.
In the Center of The cross is the Crucifixion.
On the right Arm of the Cross is a Depiction of the Resurrection of Christ.
It is thought that in the 10th century that over 80% of people could not read or write so these crosses where a way of teaching people Religion. A stone book.
The Crosses are made out of Sand Stone are in Amazing Condition considering they have been out in the open for over 1000 years.
The Western cross is not in suck good Condition and is in Danger of Topping over as it is wearing away badly. I would hope the OPW Could put something over both crosses to try and preserve both crosses, As I do worry that they will disappear between rain and people rubbing of them.
There is Also one of the Finest examples of a Round tower in Ireland at Monasterboice. The Round tower dates back to 970 and it is over 110 feet in Height with a View to the Irish coast, Which would have been a good way for the Monks of the Time to see Vikings coming and to Warn locals and also to protect there Scriptures . The Round Tower at Monasterboice worked really well until 1097. Unfortunately Vikings gained Access and destroyed the scriptures inside the tower.
Other places of Interest to see at Monasterboice are.
The North Cross a much Simpler Cross with very few scenes on it. It is Hard to know The Exact date of this cross. But it is thought to be a good bit Older than either of the Other two Crosses. Also There is a Medieval Sun dial at the Side of the Cross.
There is Also a very Rare Headstone in the Graveyard.
It has 3 Languages on It.
They Are Irish.
Latin and English.
The Headstone dates back to 1799 and is thought to be one of only two in the World.
There is Also the Ruins of Two 13th century Churches in Monasterboice.