Hidden in Ireland’s Donegal forest, the Emmery Celtic Cross can only be seen from the air when the leaves change every Autumn.
More than 400 feet long and 200 feet wide, the Emmery Celtic Cross is set on a hill, made with trees of differing shades in a forest near Killea in Donegal, Ireland. In Fall of 2016, it was first visible to passengers flying nearby Derry City Airport.
The cross is named after Liam Emmery, a forester from the area. In 2005, he started planting thousands of two different types of trees, one lighter and one darker, to create the effect seen.
Horticultural expert Gareth Austin commenting on the design called said the feat required significant skill to achieve: “it’s not just cutting patterns in your back lawn, this is sizeable horticultural engineering.” He believes it will be visible for more than half a century.
“Liam created that and gave the gift of that to the rest of us, and we’re going to appreciate that for the next 60 or 70 years.”
Emmery passed away in 2010 after being in poor health for years following a work accident, but the late forester’s wife Norma said “if he was here, we’d all have heard about it because he would have been so proud.”
“He just loved things to be perfect, and I think the Celtic cross is perfect for him.”
Historian’s believe the Celtic cross may have came about due to structural advantages, holding up the side arms while the ring represents Christ’s halo. Pious Catholic tradition holds it was introduced by Saint Patrick or possibly Saint Declan.
Watch below aerial footage of the Emmery Celtic Cross: