The Tullaghan Stone Cross was transplanted to the small village of Tullaghan, in County Leitrim, from a long-dissolved monastery on the coast. Leitrim is a mostly inland county, except for a two and a half miles (4 kilometres) strip of a coastline, where the Rivers Duff and Drowse form the boundaries with counties
Leitrim is a mostly inland county, except for a two and a half miles (4 kilometres) strip of a coastline, where the Rivers Duff and Drowse form the boundaries with counties Sligo and Donegal respectively.
On this tiny coastal strip lies Tullaghan, the site of an ancient High Cross, which faces the N15 road that runs between Sligo and Donegal.
Tall (10.5 feet / 3.21 metres) plain and crooked with stumpy arms, the dark grey cross leans heavily to one side from its sandstone base.
Local tradition maintains that the Tullaghan cross, perhaps from the 9th or 10th century, was discovered washed up on the shore after a storm, having originated in a long-vanishe monastery near the seashore. To date, however, no archaeological evidence of a monastery near the coast in the area has yet been discovered.
It was erected in 1778 in the village by the local landlord, Major Dickson. It is told that Dickson's intentions for erecting the cross were to attract attention to the local market, which was suffering from competition with the market in nearby Ballyshannon.
The cross was moved to its roadside location to protect it from coastal erosion.
Tullaghan Cross. Image by Early Christian Ireland