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High cross

A High Cross is a standing cross with a circle, made of stone and often richly ornamented. High Crosses exist in Celtic parts of Britain and Ireland; the Irish High Cross has become more famous because of its distinctive shape (the ringed Celtic Cross) and the amount and quality of decoration.

The ring initially served to strengthen the head and the arms of the High Cross, but it soon became a decorative feature as well.

The High Crosses were status symbols, either for a monastery or for a sponsor or patron.

The early 8th century crosses had only geometric motifs, but from the 9th and 10th century, biblical scenes were carved on the crosses. There were no crosses after the 12th century.

Amongst the most famous are: