The Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross, also known as High Cross, in Ireland

The Celtic Cross, or the High Cross as it is often known, is the oldest cross in Ireland and dates back to around 1200 AD. The most obvious characteristic of a Celtic, or High Cross, is the ring surrounding the intersection of the cross which symbolizes eternity. It may be a result of an attempt to blend ancient Celtic traditions with Christianity which followed St. Patrick's conversion of Ireland.

Many stone crosses can be found in Ireland and indeed throughout the British Isles. The earlier ones were often stones with simple carvings. Later these stones were carved into the shape of the Cross and were often sites where people met for prayer.

Celtic, or High Crosses, are found on monastic sites through all of Ireland. They were often used to mark important crossroads and boundaries of monastic lands.

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The Celtic Cross