The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone is the oldest dateable Christian stone monument in Ireland, thought to date from ca. 700 A.D. Almost eight feet high and marked with crosses and Latin inscription, it marks the site of an early cemetery on one of early Christian Irelandís main roads, the Slighe Miodhluachra, which ran from Drogheda through the Moyry Pass to Dunseverick in Antrim.
The inscription in Irish on its southeastern face is a dedication of the place by Ternohc, son of Ceran Bic under the patronage of Peter the Apostle. This was a departure for the early Irish Church, whose patron saints were nearly all natives of the soil. The large cross at the foot of the inscription is probably intended as St. Peterís symbol, while the ten smaller ones at the back may be designed for ten of the faithful apostles. The crosses that are inscribed on the surface at the top, and on a detached stone nearby, may refer to the apostate and supplementary members of the Twelve.
The pillar is thought by some to go back to pagan times and that originally a small stone bearing two semicircular indentations lay in a cavity on top of the pillar stone. Excavation during the 1960s uncovered a number of stone built graves nearby.
About the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
The Chrono Centre (Belfast): Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Journey to the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone is located south of Jonesborough in County Armagh in Northern Ireland just over the border with the Republic of Ireland on a minor road off of the M1.
Megalithic Ireland: Kilnasaggart Inscribed Pillar Stone
Irish Antiquities: Kilnasaggart Inscribed Stone, Edenappa
Ordnance Survey Map (J062149)
Visitors information may be found at the geograph.ie website. General tourist information may be found at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board website.
Additional Photos of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Southeast Face of Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Close-Up of Southeast Face of Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Close-Up of Top Third of Southeast Face of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Close-Up of Middle Third of Southeast Face of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Close-Up of Bottom Third of Southeast Face of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Northwest Face of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Close-Up of Northwest Face of the Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
Inscribed Cross on Stone Near Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone