Monasterboice – A Magical Monastic Site

Monasterboice Round Tower
Monasterboice Round Tower

Ireland’s Monasterboice is one of the most magical monastic sites in the country and Rings of Ireland has now launched a new range of beautiful Celtic Cross necklaces inspired by this world-renowned historic place.  

The remains of the settlement - which includes a 28 meter high Round Tower, high cross, church and gravestones located at County Louth, north of Drogheda - is now a national monument of Ireland.

The settlement was founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe (or Buite) who died around 521 and there are many mysteries to Monasterboice, as little is known about the monastery except for a list of abbots (759-1122).

It fell in to ruin after the establishment of the Cistercian Mellifont Abbey nearby in 1142 and a parochial church was in use at the location by the 13th century. Monasterboice is a part-Anglicization of the Irish name Mainistir Bhuithe meaning ‘monastery of Buithe’.

Muiredach’s High Cross in Monasterboice
Muiredach’s High Cross

The site includes the remains of two 14th century churches and an earlier round tower but it is of course most famous for its stunning and important High Crosses.  

The three High Crosses at Monasterboice date from the 10th century and showcase biblical scenes. Muiredach’s High Cross, which is 5.5 meters in height, is regarded as the finest High Cross in the whole of Ireland.  

So why is this Cross so significant? It is named after Muiredach Mac Domhnaill, an abbot who died in 923 and it features biblical carvings of both the Old and New Testaments of the bible. While the North and West crosses have suffered much more from the effects of the weather, they are also important and notable examples of this kind of structure.

The Celtic Cross at Monasterboice is considered to be so important that a copy is held in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

This most impressive surviving example of early medieval Irish stonework is said to be Ireland’s greatest contribution to European sculpture and is an internationally recognized icon of early medieval Ireland.

Our Muiredach Cross necklaces are available to buy in silver, yellow gold and white gold.

Muiredach Cross Necklace
Muiredach Cross Necklace
Posted on August 28, 2019

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