D.I.Y. High Cross

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Where: Galway, Ireland

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When: 01 January 1869

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Bizarre construction altogether that can be seen here too. Did the plinth operate as a market stall?

We had no idea where this was, so many thanks to Leonard Bentley for identifying it as being beside St. Mary's Church, Athenry, Co. Galway!

My heartfelt thanks to whoever ripped off the guts of that auction poster which probably had lots of lovely location and dating information!

Date: 1860-1869

NLI Ref: STP_1690

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 45527
blackall mcdonagh blackallmcdonagh shops thatchedroof thatch donkey plinth stone carved jesus crucifixion auction posters baskets creels fish apples cloth material barrel cask stereoscopiccollection stereopairs stereographicnegatives stereoscope jamessimonton frederickhollandmares johnlawrence lawrencecollection athenry galway ireland connacht connaught burkeslane thesquare crossstreet bridgestreet marketsquare socketstone marketcross latemedievalgothiccross tabernacletype lanterntype stmaryschurch winemerchants spiritmerchants ironmongers hardware stationers grocers flourdealers gouldingsmanure guano nationallibraryofireland locationidentified 19thcentury

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    • 15/Apr/2013 09:54:13

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/31363949@N02] and [http://www.flickr.com/photos/79549245@N06] give this location as Athenry, Galway on Google Street View

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    • 15/Apr/2013 10:26:07

    homepage.tinet.ie/~foregan/adc/cross.html#cross Unique In Ireland! By Prof. Etienne Rynne In Athenry's Market Square is an unusual monument consisting of a steeply stepped pyramidal base on which is set a carved socket-stone with an upright, rectangular-sectioned sculpted stone on its top. Known as the Market Cross, this monument does not really present the appearance of being a cross, despite the carving of a crucifixion on one face of the upright stone. It is, in fact, the last remnants of a fine Late Medieval Gothic cross of Tabernacle or Lantern type. Such crosses, dating from the 15th century perhaps mainly from the second half of that century, arc well-known in Britain (mainly, in England, Cornwall and south Wales) in Northern France, in Germany, and elsewhere in Gothic Europe - but for Ireland the Athenry monument is a unique example such crosses get their name because instead of a transom as a cross-head they have a rectangular swelling, generally with a pointed roof-like top, which has an appearance vaguely resembling a lantern or tabernacle. Almost invariably such crosses have a long, tapering generally plain but chamfered shaft set into a sculpted socket which is on top of a large and often quite high stepped pyramidal base. These crosses are not crucifixes though most bear a crucifixion scene carved on the main face of the tabernacle-like part. The Athenry market cross fits into this general pattern, only the long shaft and roof-like portion now missing. The pyramidal base consists of four steep-steps, well built of large stones (also a low, step-like surround of concrete at ground-level). Excluding the concrete surround, the base measures 2.46m. by 2.38m. at its bottom, and the steps, from the bottom upwards, measure 48 cm., 49 cm., 44 cm. and 52 cm. in height, giving an overall height of almost ( just over 6 ft.). On the top of the stepped base is set a virtually square stone, 40 cm. by 41 cm. and 26m. high, clearly the original socket-stone for the now-missing shaft. Its lower 14 cm. is vertical and plain, while its upper portion is sloping and carved with, among other things, a stag, a winged quadruped, fighting and other dog-like animals, an angel holding a long scroll diagonally across its body, and two opposed jani (mythological quadrupeds with single horns which they could swivel around) with interlocked necks; these latter resemble those on the doorway into Clontuskert Abbey, near Ballinasloe, dated to 1471, which thus helps date the Athenry cross. The upright stone now set into the socket-stone is the tabernacle / lantern-like part of the cross, though now missing its top and bottom. Enough of it remains to show that it was a finely-carved piece, with two wide faces (the front and the back) and two narrower ones on the side. All faces are recessed the recesses surmounted by crocketted and pinnacled arched two over the front recess and one over each of the others. The front recess contains a carved cruciform scene, with Our Lady and St. John standing on either side of the cross. The back recess contains a carving of the Madonna and Child, while the two side-recesses are flat and plain - such undecorated recesses are quite common on crosses of this type and were almost certainly intended for a painting of a saint or religious scene or symbol; indeed, the whole cross-head and its socket-stone may well have been coloured originally The proportions of the sculpted heads to the tapering shafts of a sample of such crosses varies greatly, but averages out at about 1:3. As the incomplete head of the Athenry cross is 69 cm. high, and was originally about l0 cm. more, it can be estimated that the shaft would probably have been something in the region of 2.25 m. high. Judging from the measurements of the base of the cross-head (30 cm. by 20 cm.) and those of the top of the socket-stone, the shaft would have been about 25 cm. by 15 cm. at its top and 40 cm. by 41 cm. at its bottom. With such a shaft the cross would look something like the accompanying drawing. To restore the Athenry market cross is a definite possibility and would be a relatively easy matter. The result would be a unique, for Ireland, and an outstandingly impressive monument. While the overall height would be in the region of 5m. this would not be excessive for monuments of its type, many of which are considerably higher (as also are many of Ireland's high Crosses).

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    • 15/Apr/2013 10:33:14

    Surely those are not corsets I see hanging in the shop window. Once again a great photo.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 15/Apr/2013 11:19:22

    Dating info! Per the NIAH, this must be before 1870, when the Ulster Bank was built on the site of this corset shop.

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    • 15/Apr/2013 11:32:25

    If we could date the building in the background it might help. It's not on the 1838 6" map and there seems to be an Athenry-sized gap in the historic 25" maps for Galway.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Apr/2013 13:18:57

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Thanks Niall! So that makes both of these 1860-1869 (to allow demolition of shop you all seem very sure was selling corsets!)

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    • 15/Apr/2013 22:06:29

    Apples or potatoes? Or pommes de terre?

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    • 22/Apr/2013 15:56:27

    Very unusual, apart from corsets (not sure that they are though?) you can see an asses ass in this shot as well. While I've passed by Athenry many times and sung the "Fields" even more times I've never actually been in the town.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 23/Apr/2013 13:47:00

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie I'm not 100% convinced that they're corsets either, but I can't come up with a better suggestion as to what they might be...

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    • 23/Oct/2022 13:16:22

    The following article based on the Ulster Bank Archives records the bank being built 1927/1928: athenryparishheritage.com/ulster-bank-athenry-branch-1908... An article on Athenry in the Tuam Herald of Saturday October 12, 1889, Page 4 states '' The banking accommodation of Athenry is supplied by a branch of the Ulster Bank from the head office in Tuam, under the efficient and courteous management of Mr J Corry. On every Friday, which is the market day, and on fair days the office is opened for the transaction of business from 1o to 3 o'clock.'' The Connacht Tribune 26.11.1927, Page 12 carries a photo of the old and new Ulster Bank captioned ''THE OLD AND THE NEW Ulster Bank, Athenry which after recent rebuilding, is attractively rehoused in the centre of the town.'' The late Prof. Etienne Rynne dated the cross to 1471. In a June 24th 1380 entry in the Blake Family Records Volume 1.” a castle and other tenements situated in the town of Athenry in the market place and extending from the cross in the market place to the tenement of Thomas Lange” are referred to. I know he stated in another article that the stone cross may have replaced an earlier wooden one. In the Blackall and McDonagh photo there is a link to the 1901 Census where there is a reference to ''King John's House''. There are references to a castle in the market place in the Blake Family Records and the Ulster Bank Archive refers to the ''castle plot'' as one of the three plots which comprise the present day Ulster Bank (soon to be TSB) site. Prof. Rynne maintained that the De Berminghams left Athenry Castle and moved to the present Ulster Bank site. This may also have been the site of the Tholsel where corporation meetings were held. Aggie Qualter, a local historian, stated that she remembered, from local oral tradition, farmers throwing sods of turf into the present Ulster Bank site as a toll as they entered the town on Market Day. Gerry Burke