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Outside the N doorway of Killeen church (ME038-013-----) is the base (dims 0.7m x 0.7m) and shaft (dims 0.23m x 0.13m; H 1.15m) of a churchyard cross. There is no inscription, but six figures set in ogee-headed niches surmounted by crockets and foliage are present including saints Andrew, Simon (?), Bartholomew (?), Thomas (?), and Philip. A date of c. 1500-1510 is suggested (King 1984, 100).
It is described by King as: Outside the N wall of the medieval church in the grounds of Killeen Castle. Repaired in August 1979. Material: fossiliferous limestone.
A shaft, in three fragments, of rectangular section, decorated in false relief and set in a s square base, which is buried in the ground. Each face has figures set in ogee-headed niches surmounted by elaborate pinnacles consisting of an interlaced central stem with foliate crockets. The figures stand on triangular brackets, below which is a continuous architectural border. No inscriptions. The figures are very worn making some of the identifications tentative. W: on the left is St Andrew with a large saltire cross wearing a V-necked pleated tunic under a n over-mantle. Beside him is St Simon (?) carrying a book and short club. He has a pointed beard and wears a tunic and mantle as do the other figures although the drapery is arranged differently in each case. E: On the left St Bartholomew (?) with flesher's knife, and on the right St Thomas (?) wearing a hooded cloak and carrying a spear. N: A figure giving a blessing. The symbol carried in the left hand is damaged. S: St Phillip with forked beard carrying a cross staff in his right hand.
Despite its damaged condition the figure sculpture and architectural features find their best parallels on the Rathmore font which both Roe (1968, 98) and Rae (1970, 6, 32) suggest may be the work of an Ossory artist c. 1503. A date c. 1500-1510 is indicated for the cross too.
Date of upload: 18 March, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.