Rathdown slabs numbers 22, 13 and 12.

Killegar Cross Slabs

After a return visit to view the Rathdown slabs at Rathmichael, we headed further south to see if we could finally view the slabs at Killegar in Wicklow. These slabs are superb examples of early Christian viking burial slabs. They are decorated with typical scandinavian motifs. Some of the slabs bear cup marks very similar to the cup and ring marks on megalithic rock art. The slabs can be found leaning against the north wall of an early church. More viking grave markers were found at the following church sites: Ballyman, Dalkey, Kilgobbin, Kiltiernan, Rathfarnham, Tully and Whitechurch.

All that remains of the early church are the north and south walls of the chancel. Also at the site is the head of a small Tau cross, pictured bottom right, sitting in a base. The Tau cross is named after the Greek letter it resembles. The head bears a central boss within a raised circle on both sides. I know of eight more examples Tau crosses in Ireland, the best known are located on Tory Island and Corrofin.

Situated: From Kiltiernan head south on the R117. After 3 kilometres take a right turn for Killegar stables. 650 metres down here there is a gate on your left. From here we walked to the bottom of the track and turned right onto another track. This leads to the cemetery.

Discovery Map 56: O 2142 1880. last visit Sept 2013.

Longitude :6° 10' 57" W

Latitude: 53° 12' 21" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

The Tau Cross

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