Standing tall in the landscape. Rooted in the Irish soil. And yet reaching for the sky. Since early times, the Celtic Cross has marked sacred places all over Ireland. Each one has its own tale to tell – with stories from scripture, carved in stone, preserved for future generations. From the shores of Lough Neagh and the cathedral city of Armagh, to the monasteries of Clonmacnoise and Monasterboice, these beautiful high crosses are powerful symbols of early Christianity in Ireland.
According to a popular legend, St Patrick himself was responsible for the design when he combined a Christian cross symbol with the sun, one of the most important and ancient Celtic symbols of life. There may be a grain of truth in this legend. With the fading of the old, pagan way of life and customs in Ireland, it fell to early Christian monks in Ireland to impart the new teachings of Christianity. The early Celtic church was not always in step with the central Roman church, and developed its own distinct style of teaching, and of art. They were unafraid to use old pagan symbols and stories to aid in spreading the word. Highly decorated monuments and their unique symbols were highly potent presences in ancient Ireland, and early Irish Christians used the same method - large stone monuments, richly decorated with symbols to tell an important new story in a familiar way.
The high cross was usually placed to mark a sacred location, to mark the boundaries of a monastery, or to honour a sponsor or patron. Another important function was probably to spread the Christian message to a pagan populace. Many Irish high crosses were richly decorated with visuals of key biblical stories. While an illiterate population would not have been able to read the written word, they would have understood the visuals and the central message they presented.
BROWSE OUR CELTIC CROSS COLLECTION
Immense craft, skill and dedication would have gone into these intricately and beautifully carved stone monuments. At Solvar, we honour those early Irish Christians with our stunning Celtic cross pieces. Each piece is intricately handmade with great artistry, skill and love.Browse our full Celtic Cross collection