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
The church is open most days with the key kept in
a box at the cottage next to the church car park,
Map / DG1 4NP .
Area Click On Map . 17 Large Images .
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
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 churchyard.
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 Duncan.
1887 - the cross was moved into Ruthwell
Carvings on the cross include, Christ treading on
the beasts, and Mary Magdalene drying the feet of
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.