Kilfenora

12th-cent-cross-2

as I mentioned in my post about the Burren, there are thousands of Iron Age forts and millenia-old historic sites scattered across the region. in Kilfenora, home of the Burren Centre and a tiny town smack in the middle of the Burrne, there are several celtic high crosses. most of them are now contained in the ruins of an old church, which, in turn, sits against the back of a more modern construction that still functions as a church. the Kilfenora church actually claims the Pope as it’s bishop. the town was especially hit during the Great Potato Famine and almost ceased to funciton; the Pope at the time (Pius IX) decided to name himself bishop of the diocese so that it might survive. it did, but it’s still the smallest and poorest diocese in Ireland.
some preservation organization thought to put a glass roof over the church ruins, which has helped to preserve the crosses contained therein.

not all of the crosses are under the glass ceiling, though. the church is tucked behind the Burren Centre and the street heading from the front entrance is flanked by grazing land and a working farm. the largest of the crosses that I saw stood smack in the middle of one of the fields. it was almost reminiscent of Avebury in how this ancient, sacred artefact was just part of the landscape. protected by a fence from the cows who wander around the field, munching on their dinner.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.