Cross Slab


The signs in and around the old church and graveyard are in need of upgrading.

The East and West faces respectively (courtesy of Archaeological Survey of County Donegal, 1983)


East face 2018

As can be seen the early Christian period cross slab is falling victim to natural erosion, lichen and possibly the effects of acid rain in recent decades. Professional conservation archaeologists have been consulted with regard to a solution to this process, with a view to taking the most sensible course of action, be it - 
(a) Having the cross re-erected indoors with a replica situated in its place much like the successful project at Clonmacnoise. 
(b) Having the cross restored and/or a shelter constructed around it much like the Carndonagh high cross.
(c) Any other options which are agreed upon.

This cross slab is academically recognised as one on the earliest precursors to the traditional Irish high cross. The 1983 'Archaeological Survey of County Donegal' had this to say - 
    "SE of the church is St. Mura's cross-slab (DG038-013002-). The slab is 2.1m high × 1.04m N-S and·.18m thick. The top of the slab has been worked into a triangular shape. A narrow band around the edges, frames the slab on both sides. On each side is carved a cross formed of broad double-edged interlaced ribbon. On both faces this consists of a Greek cross mounted on a stem giving the effect of a Latin cross. There is a boss at the centre of each cross. On the E face of the slab there are two small concentric circles around a small boss, in each of the hollowed angles of the cross. Two rudimentary arms protrude from the slab at a point coinciding with the arms of the cross on the E face. Also on this face, in the triangular space above the cross, are two affronted birds. On the W face of the slab a figure can be seen on either side of the cross stem. It has been suggested by Macalister, that patterns on the dress of each figure are inscriptions; however, this has been rejected by Henry (1965, 125-8). Also on the W face the cross stem expands outwards beneath the figures and acts almost as a platform. Macalister also read the doxology 'Glory and honour to the father the son' and holy spirit', inscribed in Greek characters on the N edge of the slab. This reading has been accepted by other scholars."

Check this out!
A few years ago the 3D Icons Project came to Fahan and using the latest technology scanned the cross slab. Click here and use the tabs to view a rotating 3D model and read more.


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