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BODAN CROSS, CLONCA
St. Bodan’s Cross, also known as St. Boden’s cross, St. Buadon’s cross and St. Buadan’s cross, dates from the 10th century and stands 4 metres tall.
It is carved in the distinctive manner of hybrid art produced by the Christian Celtic tradition and the carvings are both beautiful and intriguing. The figurative panel in the centre of the west face contains two figures sitting side by side. It is believed to represent St. Paul and St. Anthony in the desert and above them the lions that dug St. Paul’s grave. A panel on the east face clearly represents the parable of the loaves and fishes. On the only surviving arm Oran’s figure is depicted on one face.
The rest the cross is entirely covered in abstract ornament – well-carved interlacing frets patterns and one unusual panel of spirals with animal head terminals. Unfortunately, the cross is incomplete. The missing arms were replaced with plain concrete in the 1980‘s.
For our version of the Bodan Cross, we have taken inspiration from the west face of the Cross. Rather than leaving the missing parts blank we have mirrored the maze pattern of the right arm onto the left arm. We have transposed the panel identified as the Miracle of the Loaves from the east face of the Cross onto the top arm and have extrapolated from the remnants of the central pattern a circular Celtic ribbon plait. We have also removed the lower section which is plain in the actual cross.
WEST CROSS, CLONCA
This beautiful 12th century wheeled cross is a partial cross lying about 100 metres away to the west of the Bodan cross.
The head of this Celtic high cross is broken diagonally at the top of the presumed shaft which is missing. It lies beside the socket on which it may have once stood. One broken arm with its roundel carving was found in the early 1980s and lies within the nearby 17th-century church ruin. With both arms, it measures 1.36 metres wide and given the standard proportions of Celtic high crosses this example would have been a substantial size. It features 5 roundels carved with intricate Celtic patterns, still visible in the photo taken by Mabel Colhoun in the 1940s though harder to make out today. The other face of the cross has a similar carving with design differences in the roundels.
For our version of this cross, the missing shaft has been added, the proportions of other existing high crosses have been referenced for scale. The roundel details from both sides of the cross have been used.