As you arrive in Tory the first site to greet you is the Tau Cross. Sitting high on a plinth, the T-shaped stone cross is a symbol of the island’s Christian heritage.
The cross is thought to date from early medieval times and is carved from one piece of mica slate stone. It is 1.9m tall and 1.1m wide. Mica slate isn’t found on the island so the cross was probably made elsewhere and brought to the island.
Local tradition says that in the 17th century one of Cromwell’s soldiers attempted to break the cross with his sword – an explanation of the two marks on the face of the cross… it is more likely that the marks occurred naturally.
The symbol of the tau cross dates from before Christian times and it was known and used by the Egyptians. Tau is the name of the Greek letter of the same shape.
There are only two Irish stone tau crosses – the other is more elaborate and comes from Kilnaboy – Cill Inine Baoith – County Clare.
Great Glen House
Scotland, IV3 8NW
(+44) 01463 225454
Foras na Gaeilge, 2-6 Queen Street
(+44) 028 9089 0970
Foras na Gaeilge, An Chrannóg
Na Doirí Beaga
Donegal, Ireland. F92 EYT3
(+353) 074 9560113