Eroded cross

Reefert churchyard cross Glendalough

Weathered cross supporting moss and lichens, in Reefert Churchyard near Glendalough monastic complex, County Wicklow, Ireland. Photo from May 2017.

This cross is in the churchyard of Reefert Church; the name is an anglicized corruption of Righ Fearta, meaning burial place of the kings. There was probably a church here before the present one, which is in ruins and probably dates to the 10th/11th C. Perhaps the hazel tree grove that surrounds it has similar antiquity.

Graves here include seven leaders of the Ua Tuathail clan. You probably would recognize the name as O’Toole—more anglicization. One of the 12th C Ua Tuathail’s associated with this church was Lorcán, aka Saint Laurence O’Toole (1128–1180), who became Abbot of Glendalough in his 20s and Archbishop of Dublin in his 30s.

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