South Cross, Ahenny, Co. Tipperary

Ahenny South Cross

Plaster-of-Paris Replica SA1909:6

The plaster casts of the Ahenny high crosses are made up of four pieces; the base, the shaft, the head of the cross and the cap stone. It appears that a limited number of casts could be made from the moulds. Contemporary accounts mention moulds which ‘only bear about four casts’. The cost of making the moulds of the two Ahenny crosses was £151, with each cast being produced at a cost £35.

Original Cross

Ahenny South Cross

Like the North Cross, this cross dates to the ninth century. The head and shaft of the cross are dominated by decorative motifs that are highly reminiscent of processional crosses of the period. The edges of the crosses carry rope mouldings in high relief, similar to metalworking bindings found on the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch while the simple bosses resemble those on the St Germain finials.

Figure sculpture

The figure sculpture on the South Cross is confined to the base. The scenes on the south, west and north faces all show aspects of hunting:

Ahenny South Cross North Face

The east face of the base is partitioned and shows Daniel accompanied by two lions, beside which are seven figures representing Christ and the apostles:

Ahenny South Cross East Face
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