The monastic site at Fahan was founded by St Mura in the 6th century. Originally the monastery was known as Othan Mor, but after St Mura's death became known as Fahan Mura. The main point of interest at this site today is the beautifully decorated 7th century cross slab located in the graveyard. It was generally believed that this cross slab at Fahan Mura was a precursor to the Irish High Crosses, although in recent studies it is suggested the slab may be of a later date.
The west face of the slab is beautifully decorated. The tree of life is represented by intertwining bands of ribbon following around five sun motifs that represent fruit. The tree of life has its roots in the ground and its branches high in the air, representing a connection between heaven and earth. A symbol of growth, death and rebirth. Carved on either side of the trunk are two figures possibly representing Áed Uaridnach ( High King of Ireland) and Saint Mura, founders of the church at Fahan. Could they represent pilgrims ? Was Fahan Mura along with Carndonagh also an early pilgrimage site.
This carved cross by Jim Boyle was inspired by the Fahan Mura cross. We offer this in pewter on the new TCCT page as a pendant.