The Ruthwell Cross is situated inside
Ruthwell Church, 10 miles southeast of Dumfries, 14 miles northwest of
Gretna, off the A75 road by the
village of Ruthwell.
The church is open most days with the key
kept in a box at the cottage next to the church
car park, free entry.
This is a scenic small church about half of
a mile east of the small village of Ruthwell,
where there is the Savings
Banks Museum founded by the Church
Minister, another popular attraction.
The cross is situated in the centre of the
church by the alter. It is 18ft high, placed in
a lowered section of the floor.
600s - Ruthwell Church was completed,
dedicated to St Cuthbert.
680s - the Ruthwell Cross was completed in
the church yard at a time when the village of
Ruthwell was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of
This is claimed to be the finest example of
a Celtic Christian monument to be found
anywhere. It also contains text of English
poetry, predating any manuscripts containing
Old English poem.
1642 - the cross was broken up by the Church
of Scotland after the Reformation ended
Catholic worship in Scotland. Pieces of the
cross were then scattered around the
The Protestant Church of Scotland wanted all
symbols of Catholic worship removed and
1803 - Ruthwell Church was enlarged.
1823 - the cross was restored and erected in
the manse garden by the Reverend Henry
1887 - the cross was moved into Ruthwell
Carvings on the cross include, Christ
treading on the beasts, and Mary Magdalene
drying the feet of Christ,
The Reverend Henry Duncan restored the cross
to what he believed to be accurate. Some people
have raised concerns, parts of the cross may
differ slightly from its original form.