Cross inscribed standing stone and Cross slab

In the northwest corner of killeen graveyard stands this 2 metre tall sandstone standing stone. The southwest face, pictured above and right, features an incised double circle, 60 cm in diameter, with a cross of arcs. It also bears an X-shaped cross. The combination of arcs and cross gives the impression of petals, hence the reason why it is known as 'The Marigold Stone'. The cross of arcs is usually associated with pilgrimage sites, other examples can be found on the Early Christian slabs at Ballyvourney and Carndonagh.

Standing stone east face

Marigold pattern

Cross Slab

The Cross of Thieves

About half-way between the standing stone and the graveyard entrance gate is an Early Christian cross slab. Standing at 0.96 metres in height by 0.35 metres wide the slab bears a simplified Chi-Rho symbol. The central cross divides the slab in four quarters, each bearing a crosslet. This design is commonly known as the Cross of Thieves. This slab maybe coeval with the stone monuments on Caher Island, which can be seen from the graveyard, but the design is similar to the cross slabs on Inishmurray off the coast of Sligo. Also scattered around the graveyard are a number of medieval graveslabs with a simple cross engraved on the upper face, see image below, some of these slabs maybe quite late.

West face

The Cross of Thieves

Situated: In the oldest part of Killeen graveyard, opposite Killeen Church. From Louisberg take the R378 south for 7.8 Kilometres. The graveyard is on your right.

Discovery Map 37: L 7568 7542. Last visit May 2017.

Longitude: 9° 52' 59" W

Latitude: 53° 42' 49" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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