Clonmacnois, Scripture Cross,  Co. Offaly, Ireland

New:    A feature entitled Praying the Durrow High Cross:  the Iconographic Program as been added.

Last Updated 5/7/2021


Welcome to  The purpose of this site is to offer an introduction to the subject of the Irish High Crosses.  These are crosses like the Scripture Cross at Clonmacnoise in County Offaly, pictured to the left, that were carved prior to the year 1200 CE.  Described here are over 280 crosses or fragments of crosses, listed by the Irish County in which they are located.  There is background, where available, on the history of the site and the primary saint(s) related to the site as well as photos and descriptions of the crosses or cross fragments located there.  


Preface through Scripture Crosses, offer an introduction to various aspects of the study of Irish High Crosses. 

Antrim Crosses through Waterford Crosses, introduce the crosses on a county by county basis.

Images of the Fall through The Resurrection explore particular types of images across a number of different crosses.

Praying the Durrow High Cross:  The Iconographic Program

Hebrew Scripture Images and Christian Scripture Images have the following divisions:  

Categories of Hebrew or Christian images that appear on the crosses; 

Distribution of Hebrew or Christian images that appear on the crosses; 

The Top Ten crosses according to the number of Hebrew or Christian images that appear on the crosses; 

Subject matter and which crosses these Hebrew or Christian subjects appear on; 

Listing by the name of the cross of the images that appear on each cross.

Catelog of Crosses, listed by county, 


Art Gallery contains paintings, mostly pastel chalk, by Barney McLaughlin, of Irish monastic sites, crosses and landscapes as well as a few Neolithic sites.  I am a beginning painter and hope you enjoy some of these images.  

Contact Us:  Your comments, suggestions and questions are welcomed at   For a bit more information about the site, visit or  

All photos and illustrations, unless otherwise noted were taken by the author.


Irish Stones: over 6,000 years of stone history:

Information and photos of the old monuments that dot the Irish landscape.   Giving priority to those monuments that are less known or that are far from the touristic itineraries. Some not signposted.  There are many photographs on the site and a variety of ways to search for monuments.

Early Christian Ireland: 

Specifically focused on Early Christian sites up to about 1100 CE, this site is arranged by Irish County.  It has photos of nearly every High Cross.  The High Crosses are categorized with Cross Slabs.  Photographs are good. There is no guide to location and minimal background.

Irish High Crosses:

A sister site to Irish Round Towers this site has numerous photographs of some of the High Crosses.


An excellent site, and not just for megalithic antiquities.  There is a separate section on High Crosses that contains pictures, general background and location information on at least 54 sites.  On the home page you can search by Irish County.  For each cross presented there are links to other nearby cross sites. 


Originally dedicated to Irish megaliths, but now expanded to include other antiquities, including Early Christian and Medieval monuments.  Provides coordinates, has information on at least 49 High Cross sites.  Pictures are small but can be enlarged. 

National Monument Service: 

This site is part of and has an exhaustive listing of all kinds of archaeological sites in the Republic of Ireland.  Search by County and by the type of site you are looking for.  Click on a site and a map showing the location of the monument will be provided.  A very useful source in seeking to find High Crosses.

Irish Antiquities: 

Arranged by Irish County this site has great pictures, including details of many of the decorations on the crosses.  Offers basic information on many of the Irish High Crosses, including at least 26 locations, many with multiple crosses. 

Official Road Atlas Ireland:  

This atlas offers road maps for both the Republic and Northern Ireland on a scale that is generally large enough to locate many of the Irish High Cross sites.  On the website each site is located according to the page and coordinates of each site.

Ordnance Survey Maps Ireland:  

The Ordnance Survey maps offer a much more detailed mapping of sections of the Republic and Northern Ireland.  If you are visiting a specific area they can be very helpful.  However, there are nearly 100 of these maps.

 Barney McLaughlin 2012