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Situated at the crest of a S-facing slope which is at the N edge of the valley of the WSW-ENE Nanny River, and just on the N side of the old Duleek to Navan road. The cross is at a junction with cul-de-sac roads going NW to Sneeoge and SE to Athcarne castle (ME033-004----), which is c. 800m distant. The cross had been incorporated into the wall of a cottage (Ua Taillamhain 1910 260-1) but it was conserved as a National Monument in 1935 and is known as Athcarne cross. The sandstone cross (dims 0.35m x 0.14m; H 2.1m) has short arms (span 0.62m) with a large Crucifixion on the E face where Christ’s arms are nailed above his head and his feet rest on a skull and crossed-bones. The W face has a Madonna in a niche with symbols of the Passion on a crest overhead and the Bathe and Dowdall arms on a crest below. The upper crest is surmounted by a cock standing of a helmet and has the inscription below in false relief roman letters '..SU. GLORIA / ..IN CRUCE.' The cross stands on a pedestal (dims of base 0.82m x 0.58m; H 0.56m) of moulded masonry, and has a sandstone cap (dims 0.34m x 0.25m; H 0.28m) with a cherub on each face (total H 3.11m). The cross has been attributed to Dame Jennet Dowdall c. 1600 (ibid. Harbison 1970, 179). However, the inscription on the narrow sides of the shaft in incised roman letters, which is now illegible, was transcribed by Leask in 1935 (NMS file). Both sides record that the cross was erected by Dame Cecilia Dowdall, and her name can still be read on the N side. The cross was probably erected by Dame Cecilia and her husband, Sir Luke Dowdall, c. 1675 (Harbison 2000, 63; information plaque). The N face reads: (Erected) BY DAME / CECILIA / BATHE / ALIAS / DOWDALL / AS / …MON / TO / .ERSEL. / HER HU / .BAND / SIR …/ ..RBAT / .CARS / AND / T…D. The S face reads: ….. / .AS ERG / TED BY / DAM CE / CILIA BAT / E ….. / ALIAS DO /WDAL AS / A MON…/ .NTTO. / .ERSELF / ..ERH .. / AND . / ….
The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
See the attached images: 001 from E; 002 Madona; 003 symbols of the Passion.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of revision: 28 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.