Saints and Stones: Ruthwell Cross

The Ruthwell Cross is an important Anglo Saxon cross dating back to the eighth century. This cross is remarkable for its runic inscription, which contains excerpts from The Dream of the Rood, an Old English poem. It is 18 feet high. It is thought to have been created by monks of the Columban Church as a protest against the Church of Rome.

The cross is eighteen feet high, decorated with sacred carvings depicting scenes from the New Testament, and with ancient Runic letters. It was probably created in 664 A.D., after the Synod of Whitby. At that meeting, Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne, found the results disfavorable. As he and his followers made their journey to Ireland, they raised a Preaching Cross at Ruthwell.

After the Reformation, the cross was ordered destroyed. For more than 180 years, large parts of it were scattered throughout the church and its grounds. In 1818, it was reconstructed from the pieces that could be found. It now rests in the church in the town of Ruthwell.

About the Ruthwell Cross

Ruthwell Church Website
Historic Scotland: Ruthwell Cross
Wikipedia: Ruthwell Cross
Rampants Scotland: Ruthwell Cross

Journey to the Ruthwell Cross

The Ruthwell Cross is located off the A75 in the town of Ruthwell between Dumfries and Annan in Dumfries and Galloway in southern Scotland.

Ordnance Survey Map (NY100682)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Historic Scotland Ruthwell Cross website. General tourist information is at the Dumfries & Galloway website.

Additional Photos of the Ruthwell Cross

Ruthwell Church, Home of the Ruthwell Cross
Ruthwell Cross
Ruthwell Cross Sign in Ruthwell Church

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