Ardboe High Cross

Looking at the west face of the cross

Ardboe High Cross (Irish: Seanchrois Ard Bó) is a high cross and national monument located in Ardboe, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It was the first high cross built in Ulster. This cross is about 18.5 feet (5.6 m) high and 3.5 feet (1.1 m) wide. It depicts twenty two panels of Old and New Testament scenes. The cross stands at the entrance to a cemetery and a monastery and a church from the seventeenth century which was founded in 590 by Saint Colman. The monastery was destroyed by fire in the twelfth century. The name "Ard Boe" means "hill of the cow" it comes from a weird legend that the monastery of Ardboe was built from the milk of a magic cow out of Lough Neagh. It is believed to have been erected in either the ninth or the tenth century[1][2][3] and forms the only remaining part of an early monastery on the site.[4] At around 18.5 feet (5.6 m), Ardboe High Cross is Northern Ireland's tallest cross.[5] Although the head of the cross is damaged, it seems to be the only such cross in Northern Ireland to remain largely complete and original.[4]

History of the cross

Description and identification

East side

The east face of the cross depicts the Old Testament scenes in particular which deals with Adam and Eve, the Sacrifice of Isaac, Daniel in the lions' den and the Three Hebrews in the Fiery Furnace. Two scenes are from the Genesis. The east face of the head of the cross depicts scenes: Christ’s Second Coming and the Last Judgement.

South side

The south side represents Cain murdering Abel, David (or Samson) and the lion, the fight of David and Goliath and the Desert Saints Paul and Anthony, fed by the raven.

North side

The north side portrays the early life of Christ, including in his baptism at the bottom.

West side

The west face describes the Adoration of the Magi, the Miracle at Cana, the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The west face of the head of the cross is carved with scenes from the Passion of Christ and the Crucifixion.


  1. ^ "Ardboe High Cross". The Chrono Centre - Queens University Belfast. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  2. ^ "Ardboe High Cross". Triskelle. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Ardboe Old Cross". Discover Northern Ireland. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  4. ^ a b O'Neill, B (ed) (2002). Irish Cathedrals, Churches and Abbeys. London: Caxton Editions. p. 63. 
  5. ^ "Irish High Crosses - Ardboe". Megalithic Ireland. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 

External links

  • Geography in Action - Photograph of Ardboe High Cross

The Ardboe cross is in Moortown

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.