There is an impressive landmark growing in the middle of Donegal Forest, Ireland, but you could walk right through it and not even though it’s there. This newly-discovered ‘hidden treasure’ only reveals it beauty when seen from above.
The giant Celtic Cross of Donegal recently made international headlines after footage shot using a drone went viral on the internet. Filmmaker Darren Sheaffer was working on a project at the Bogay Walled Garden, outside Newtown Cunningham, when it was mentioned to him that there was an amazing sight hidden in the nearby forest of Donegal. So he took a walk there, launched his drone, and what he saw took his breath away. Right in the middle of the woods was a giant Celtic cross about 100 meters long and 70 meters wide, made up of a different type of tree than the rest of the forest. Donegal’s drone video went viral as part of an ITV report on the unique landmark, and has since been doing the rounds on the internet.
Photo: video screengrab
People flying into City of Derry Airport had first noticed the ancient symbol growing in Donegal Forest at the begining of autumn, and some even posted photos of it on social media, but nobody seemed to know anything about its origins. UTV reporter Gareth Wilkinson traveled to Donegal to investigate, and learned that the Celtic cross was the work of local forester Liam Emmery, who had sadly passed away six years ago, due to brain damage suffered in an accident. His wife, Norma, told Wilkinson that she had forgotten all about the plantation, but that it would have made Liam very proud.
“If he was here, we would have all heard about it because he would have been so proud,” Mrs Emmery said. “He just loved things to be perfect. And I think the Celtic Cross is perfect for him.”
Photo: video screengrab
Liam Emery’s stunning project has been described as a feat of horticultural engineer, one that must have taken very careful planning. “It’s not just cutting patterns in your back lawn, this is sizeable horticultural engineering,” horticultural expert Gareth Austin told The Irish Post. “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.”
The Celtic Cross of Donegal Forest only becomes apparent in autumn, when the tree leaves start to change color. Filmmaker Darren Sheaffer says that when the weather conditions are favorable, the cross makes for a stunning sight. “It’s great for Liam’s family. A real legacy and something that will be there for decades,” he said. “It is an amazing site and I’ve been amazed by the response that people have had to it.”
This stunning horticultural masterpiece reminds us of the equally-impressive tree guitar of General Levalle, Argentina, planted by a farmer in memory of his late wife.