Hi everyone. I hope I find you all keeping well. Without doubt, one of the most popular symbols in Irish jewelry is the Celtic cross. In Ireland, this ancient symbol of worship dates back to around the middle ages. Many of these age-old monuments remain standing to this day, largely on monastic sites. So let’s get on the road for a quick tour around 5 of the best in the country!
The Celtic Cross. Five of the Best
1. Monasterboice, County Louth
Monasterboice near Drogheda in County Louth is an early Christian settlement. It was founded by St. Bute in the late 5th century. St. Bute was a follower of St. Patrick and legend has it that our patron saint himself was instrumental in bringing the Celtic cross into being by combining the christian cross with the circular disc representing the pagan sun. The Muiredach’s High Cross at Monasterboice is regarded as one of the finest examples of its kind in Ireland. It stands at 5.5 meters high and features amazingly detailed carvings of scenes from the bible.
2. Kells, County Meath
Of course Kells Monastery is most famous for being the place where the iconic illuminated manuscript, The Book of Kells was created. The South Cross, also known as the Cross of St Patrick and St Columba (pictured) is thought to be the oldest cross at Kells. It is carved from a single piece of sandstone and stands at 3.3 meters high.
3. Clommcanoise, County Offaly
Dating back to the 6th century, the monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise boasts 7 churches, 2 round towers and the ruins of a cathedral. Of the many remains at Clonmacnoise, there are two high crossses which remain completely intact. For preservation reasons, these two crosses were moved into the interpretive center some 30 years ago. Stunning replicas have taken their place in their original positions outside. The Cross of the Scriptures (pictured) features depictions from bible stories including the Crucifixion at its center on the west face.
4. St. Mullins, County Carlow
St. Mullins is a village on the River Barrow in southern County Carlow. It takes its name from St. Molings who founded the monastery there in the 7th century. Amid the impressive remaining ruins, stands this high cross which is not fully intact but a sight to behold nonetheless. Again, the Crucifixion is depicted at the center of the cross.
5. Drumcliffe, County Sligo
We end our tour in my favorite County Sligo with this stunning stone Celtic cross in Drumcliffe. It dates back to the 11th century and is one of 3 surviving high crosses on the grounds of a former abbey founded by St. Colmcille in the 6th century. Just across the road is St. Columba’s Church which is also the final resting place of Ireland’s great poet, W.B. Yeats.
Our Top Five Celtic Cross Pendants
Check out my favorite Celtic cross pendants from The Irish Store Collection.
1. Marcasite & Connemara Marble Celtic Cross
First up it’s our 5 star best-selling customer favorite. This stunning Irish necklace features the Celtic cross in glorious detail. The arms are carved from 900 million year old Connemara Marble, Ireland’s ancient gemstone. Beautifully finished with a single marcasite stone at the center. Sterling silver.
2. Diamond & Emerald Celtic Cross Pendant
Time for a real show-stopper! The renowned Tara’s Diary truly bring the wow factor to the traditional Celtic cross pendant. Featuring exquisite sterling silver Celtic knot work on the arms of the cross, a diamond encrusted disc and a sparkling emerald at the center.
3. Ancient Irish Cross Pendant
Beautifully accented with finely detailed Trinity knots, this stunning Celtic Cross necklace is a beautiful representation of this ancient Irish symbol. Handcrafted in County Kilkenny.
4. 10k Gold Diamond Claddagh Cross Pendant
Combining a sterling silver cross with 10k gold Celtic knot work and a single elegant diamond to create a pendant of real distinction. The age old Claddagh symbol catches the light beautifully with it’s precious setting.
5. Celtic Cross with Oval Connemara Marble Stone
My final pick like the first, features Ireland’s unique gemstone once again in a truly eye-catching design. Beautifully accented with sparkling marcasite stones. Handcrafted in Ireland from sterling silver. Hallmarked at Dublin Castle.
Thanks so much for dropping by.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!