Thought to date back to around AD 680, this magnificent cross is one of the most famous and elaborate Anglo-Saxon monumental sculptures.
The ancient Ruthwell Cross stands some 18 feet high and is the focal point of the beautiful Ruthwell church, in Dumfriesshire. Featuring intricate inscriptions in both Latin and, more unusually for a Christian monument, the runic alphabet, the Ruthwell Cross is inscribed with one of the largest figurative inscriptions found on any surviving Anglo-Saxon cross.
The cross escaped ruin during the general destruction of religious artifacts that accompanied the early Reformation but in 1662 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland ordered that all idolatrous monuments erected and made for religious worship had to destroyed and the cross was destroyed by Presbyterian iconoclasts in 1664. It was restored in 1818 by Henry Duncan and in 1887 moved to its current location in Ruthwell, where you can admire it encased in a specially built apse.