Ruthwell Cross

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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.

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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 Northumbria.

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 churchyard.

The Protestant Church of Scotland wanted all symbols of Catholic worship removed and destroyed.

1803 - Ruthwell Church was enlarged.

1823 - the cross was restored and erected in the manse garden by the Reverend Henry Duncan.

1887 - the cross was moved into Ruthwell Church.

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.

Ruthwell Cross images