High Crosses

High Crosses were developed between 700 and 900 and then again between the late 1000’s and 1100. They were erected on church boundaries, at monastic sites and sometime to the west of the principal church. They can be based chronologically into 4 groups based on decoration. They were probably funded by the local leaders and would have been originally brightly coloured. They have been described as our most enduring legacy of a Christian past to medieval European art.

Site of the earliest known Irish Parliament & The oldest intact stone window in Western Europe

Castledermot, County Kildare    7th – 18th century a. d.    Castledermot packs a big punch for having historical buildings. This small town was originally called 'Diseart Diarmad'; meaning 'Dermot's Hermitage'. This was once a very [...]

St Brigid’s High Cross – Ireland’s first Spice Girl

St Bridget's High Cross is located in Kildare Town. co.Kildare. It dates somewhere between the 9th to the 12th century and stands 9 feet tall in the grounds of St Bridget's Cathedral. The cross is [...]

Cross design based on St Patrick’s earliest teachings

Dromodonnell Stone Cross in Castlewellan. co Down is a replica of a 10th century cross that once stood in the Drumgooland graveyard until the late 1700s. It was then set into the north gable wall [...]

A unique cross embodying both Renaissance and Baroque influences

The Athcarne Cross is located in Balrath. co. Meath and dates from  c.1675.  This national monument was erected circa 1675 as a memorial to Sir Luke Bathe and his wife, Dame Cecilia Dowdall, who lived in the [...]

One of 4 of a collection located near a famous golfers house

The c.12th Rathmichael Cross is located in Rathmichael, south county Dublin. It is one of four distinct looking crosses found in this area which are collectively known as the Fassaroe Crosses. They are generally wheel [...]

Exquisite early slab cross with Greek inscriptions located in an ancient monastery

St Mura's Cross, Fahan. County Donegal      c. 7th or 8th century a. d. St Mura’s Cross is located in an ancient monastic site in Fahan, county Donegal. This rare 'slab' type cross is generally believed [...]

The earliest dateable stone monument in Ireland

Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone, Jonesborough. County Armagh    700 a.d. The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone dates to 700 a. d. and is one of the earliest datable stone monuments in Ireland. It stands 6 feet tall and the [...]

Regarded as Ireland’s most beautiful High Cross

Muiredach’s High Cross, Monasterboice, County Louth   c. 9th – 10th century a. d. This is the wonderful Muiredach’s High Cross. It is regarded as the most beautiful Celtic cross in the World and Ireland’s greatest [...]

A master sculptor, sanctuary and hanging rebels

The Market Cross is located outside the courthouse in Kells in co.Meath. This early 10th century cross  was originally called the “Cross of the Gate” as it was located at the eastern side of the [...]

One of Ireland’s most important ecclesiastical centres

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. St Ciaran was a young preacher from Roscommon who in 545 a.d convinced the local [...]

A masterpiece of sculpture & The second tallest High Cross in Ireland

The Moone High Cross, Moone. County Kildare   10th century a. d.   The Moone High Cross is regarded as a masterpiece among granite crosses. It is the second tallest in Ireland and is one of [...]

2 of Ireland’s earliest High Crosses & St Patrick’s sister

This is one of two High Crosses located in the ancient monastic site of Carrowmore. This site is just a few miles outside the village of Gleneely on the Inishowen Peninsula. This monastery was founded [...]

One of the earliest and most important High Crosses in Ireland

The Carndonagh Cross is located in Carndonagh, co.Donegal. This National Monument is one of the earliest and most important High Crosses in Ireland. High Crosses developed from slab crosses which as the name suggests were [...]

A stunning Celtic cross, An important seat of learning and the GAA hurley emblem

Cloncha Cross, Culdaff. County Donegal         c. 10th Century a. d. This national monument is the Cloncha Cross. It dates from the 10th century a. d. and stands over 12 feet high. Its beautiful carvings are [...]

Ireland’s tallest High Cross located in a beautiful monastic settlement

This beautifully carved cross is located in the grounds of Monasterboice in county Louth. It is the tallest cross Ireland standing high at 21 feet and is dated to the 9th century. High Crosses are [...]

Viking Raids, beautiful Celtic Crosses and once the highest Roundtower in Ireland

The Round Tower of Monasterboice is located in county Louth and dates from the 10th century a.d. The tower stands 92 feet high but may have originally been 108 feet making it one of the [...]

Ireland’s only stand alone baptistry & The oldest stone roofed church still in use today

St Dowlagh's Church, Balgriffin. County Dublin    12th century St Dowlagh’s Church is the oldest stone roofed church (that is still in use today) and in the grounds is the only ‘standalone baptistery’ in the country. [...]

A cross with sundial, St Patrick’s foot & A romantic hole stone

The Cooley Cross is located on the outskirts of  Moville in county Donegal. This was the location of a 6th century monastery founded by St.Finian. The cross dates to the 8th or 9th centuries a.d [...]

A Christian Cross with a Pagan base

Kilgobbin Cross is located in Stepaside villagein south co. Dublin. It was found in 1800 when a wall for the nearby graveyard was being built. It stands over 8 feet tall and can be estimated [...]

Regarded as the most beautiful High Cross in the World

This National Monument is the wonderful Muiredach’s High Cross located in Monasterboice, co. Louth. It is regarded as the most beautiful Celtic cross in the World and Ireland’s greatest contribution to European sculpture. It stands 18 [...]

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