Seen today were mostly commissioned and built up until the mid-12th century. Construction of these crosses vanished by the end of the 12th century. These magnificent crosses were typically employed as boundary markers, like where parishes overlapped, or as monuments around cathedrals, monasteries, or churches. Contrary to common perception, they were not used as gravestones; nonetheless, modern crosses have grown in prominence as gravestones since the 1850s.
What Does The Celtic Cross Mean In Ireland?
A famous Irish tradition attributes the design of the Celtic cross to Saint Patrick. According to mythology, St. Patrick united the Christian cross with the sun (or moon). This was an attempt to emphasize the significance of the cross by merging it with a well-known Celtic life symbol. However, we now understand that this form of Cross precedes St. Patrick and also that Celtic cross designs existed before the 5th century, though possibly not as popular because many of the best ones were not yet raised by Irish monks. The huge crosses that may still be found throughout Ireland today were mostly built in the name of Christianity. Aside from the obvious Christian significance of the cross, several crosses have panels with biblical tales or artistic Celtic art. Traditional Irish symbols, as well as biblical subjects like the Crucifixion, Adam and Eve, Resurrection, and so on, were often used for the panels.
Are There Different Types of Celtic Crosses?
The following are some of the most significant Celtic crosses found in Ireland.
1. County Tyrone’s Ardboe Celtic Cross
The Ardboe is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest Celtic crosses. The cross is situated on a tiny hill next to the beaches of Lough Neagh. It is over 18 feet tall and composed entirely of sandstone. The sandstone has aged considerably over time, and several emigrants from the region brought a little piece of it with them on their journeys. Even now, the specimens of carved figures on the cross are among the best. The scenes depicted on its panels are from the Bible. The cross was built in the 9th or 10th century and is now all that remains of a once-thriving sanctuary on the nearby land.
2. County Louth’s Muiredach Celtic Cross
This lovely Celtic cross is widely recognized as one of the best in Ireland. The enormous cross is over 18 feet in height. The cross is said to have been named after Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who was in charge of its creation. He passed away in 923. The biblical images in the cross panels significantly inspired the design of the cross. In general, the east face depicts Old Testament subjects, and the west side is influenced more by the New Testament. There are a couple of panels whose significance is unclear.
3. County Meath’s Kells Celtic Cross
The Kells Cross was recently relocated since its location in the center of town created a safety threat for those visiting the cross as well as the cross itself. It is now housed beneath a free-standing roof outside of the Kells visitor center. Kells also has Saint Columba’s monastery and several Celtic crosses, and also the remnants of a tower.
4. Modern Celtic Crosses
The Celtic cross is now most commonly used as Irish jewelry or home decoration. Both serve as significant reminders of our history. The Celtic cross is visually attractive, and unlike traditional Christian crosses, it does not emphasize the image of anguish and sorrow that the traditional cross is intended to portray. Furthermore, the Celtic cross is not limited to Catholics or even Christians. Many other religions regard it as “their” symbol as well. A pendant with a Celtic cross is the most popular alternative for people looking to include a Celtic cross in their world, either for fashion or to remind them of history. Handmade and hallmarked in Ireland, our Celtic Cross products are perfect for and popular with men and women who want to showcase their Irish history through their accessories. Some of our exquisite Celtic cross jewelry include Kerry Silver Celtic Cross Necklace, Galway Silver Celtic Cross Necklace, Silver Claddagh Celtic Cross Necklace, and Sterling Silver Double Sided Large Celtic Cross to name but a few.
The Design Of The Celtic Cross
Early crosses are roughly eight feet tall, with later crosses being significantly taller. The tallest is an impressive 23 feet tall! Despite this variety, these ancient Celtic Crosses have some unique qualities, including:
The head is divided into two parts: the center and the arms. The majority of stone Celtic Crosses have a unique ring form around the head.
Usually located at the top of the upper arm of the cross.
This is commonly separated into panels on all sides that house elaborate designs or artwork representing figures.
An element that is not always present. The cross is usually shaped like a pyramid and is occasionally sculpted to give it height.
The Celtic Cross is a well-known international symbol that has evolved into a traditional Christian sign used by the Irish faithful for religious purposes. It is a magnificent symbol of Irish religion and pride. Celtic crosses are now worn by people all over the world who admire Irish culture and the Christian faith. Claddagh Rings‘ Celtic Cross pendants and necklaces are inspired by the incredible history and exquisite symbolism of Ireland’s standing stone crosses, replicating in silver and gold the complex carvings from ancient Irish high crosses. These crosses are proudly worn by people all over the world who appreciate Irish culture. And with crosses for men, women, and even children, we have created the perfect items for everyone.