Early Church and High Cross Base

I had arranged to meet up with Jóse, a fellow enthusiast, we had planned to visit a large number of archaeological sites in Meath. Our last stop was the church at Dulane. I was feeling a bit drained after a long day out, but WOW! that feeling soon disappeared. The monastery established at Tuiléan in the 5th century is attributed to St Cairnnech of Cornwall. It is recorded that a stone church was burnt during Viking raids in 920 CE and was plundered again by the Vikings in 945 CE. The church at Dulane became a parish church shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion.

The west wall is 2.5 metres high and is of a cyclopean nature. Antae is present at the ends of the north and south walls. The trabeated doorway, see images below, was built using large sandstone blocks with inclining jambs. These jambs feature incised roll moulding, and on the impost there are the vertical marks of arrow sharpening.

Arrow marks and roll moulding


The moulding suggests early 12th century construction. The lintel is formed from two large blocks with a central mortar joint. The stones used in the construction of the south wall are smaller. The pointed doorway, pictured above right was inserted at a later date.

High Cross base

We had almost given up hope of finding the high cross base, but after reading a few notes we spotted it nestled between two topiary plants, see bottom image. The truncated pyramidal shaped base stands 0.7 metres in height, and features roll moulding on the angles. The base is made from sandstone and the side panels, that may have featured a design, are badly weathered.


High cross base

Situated: From Kells in Meath take the R164 north for 2.7 kilometres, then turn right. Dulane Church is 400 metres down here on your left.

Discovery Map 35. N 7397 7881. Last visit Apr 2017.

Longitude: 6° 52' 42" W

Latitude: 53° 45' 13" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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