This highly decorated coss-shaft is now set up in the village green at Summerhill. Its original position might not have been far away, at the N entrance to Summerhill Demesne and Lynch’s Castle (ME043-021----) (Devitt 1909-11, 277-8; FitzGerald 1917). The shaft is a sandstone (dims 0.29m x 0.19m; H 1.74m) and has the inscription: ORATE / PRO A / NIMA / PETRE / LINCE / AD 1554 at the top of the S side. The rest of the shaft is decorated with vine-leaves, tulips, Tudor roses and animals. The collar (dims 0.42m x 0.36m; H 0.3m) and Latin head of the cross (H 0.4m surviving span 0.38m; T 0.13m) are no longer present, and the armorial stone of the Lynches (ME043-20002-) is also missing. The cross is described by King (1984, 111) as:
Material: Sandstone/fine-grained granite. Dims lower shaft: H 1.74m; dims 0.29m x 0.19m; collar: H 0.3m; dims 0.42m x 0.36m; upper shaft: H 0.4m; Wth 0.38m; T 0.13m.
This cross consists of a lower shaft, collar and Latin-shaped upper shaft. The lower shaft is rectangular in section and each side has panels of decoration in false relief. W: Has a narrow concave panel with a vertebrate tulip stem growing from a vase. Above this there is an IHS and five Tudor roses. E: A similar panel has eight animals and three Tudor roses, the lower two being separated by a quatre-quetra design. The animals are all facing S, except the lowest one. They are as follows: dog)?), hen horse, dog wearing a collar, goat, lion, doe and stag with very large antler. N: Has a panel with an undulating interlaced ivy scroll and a biting animal at the base. AS: A raised plaque has the following inscription: ORATE / PRO A / NIMA / PETRE / LINCE / AD 1554. Below this is a panel with an undulating vine scroll and biting animal at the base. The collar is a truncated double-pyramid with two mortices, one of which was not fully cut out, and is decorated in relief and false relief. Lower section: Has four angels on the corners holding shields, their wings forming panels for a vine scroll design. Upper section: All panels have vine scrolls. The upper Latin-shaped shaft is damaged and only two arms remain. It is rectangular in section and is decorated on two sides in relief and false relief. There is a small hole in the top of the upper arm. 1st: A recessed concave moulding outlines a plain Latin cross. The upper part of Christ’s body is shown with a crown of thorns and a halo. 2nd: A shield bears the Lynch arms (argent a cross sable between four lions rampant gules armed and langued azure) surrounded by angels with large wings holding shields and wearing pleated tunics.
The cross is dated by the inscription to 1554. The cross could never have been completed as the lower mortice is unfinished although a Latin cross is shown on a stepped plinth on Petty’s parish map.
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.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of revision: 17 April 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.