Early Christian Cross

During the middle of the 19th century the Courtown woodland was planted by the 5th Earl of Courtown, James Stopford. By the latter half of the 20th century the woodland had fallen into neglect. But since spring 2000 extensive thinning of the woods has taken place and the area has been rejuvenated with many walks opened up through the woods. One of these walks takes you to the old High Cross of Kilbride. The cross is one of very few early christian sites remaining along the North Coast of Wexford. Which is quite sad really as Wexford was one of the first places that christianity would have arrived in Ireland. The cross stands at almost 2.5 metres high and is decorated on both sides by a simple inscribed cross surrounded by an inscribed circle. I wish I could tell you more about the origin of the cross, it may date from the 9th/10th century but this is purely guess work. Other notable sites in Wexford worth visiting are the monastic sites at Ferns and also Clone Church.

Situated: From Gorey head east to Courtown on the R742. Just as you reach Courtown there is a right turn for Riverchapel. Drive passed and take the next left. Down here on your left is a car-park in the woods. Follow the signs for the High Cross.

Discovery OS Map 69. T 192 567. Last visit January 2011.

Longitude: 6° 14' 18.81" W

Latitude: 52° 38' 54.48" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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