The Ruthwell Cross is a stone Anglo-Saxon cross probably dating from the 8th century, when Ruthwell was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria; it is now in Scotland. It is both the most famous and elaborate Anglo-Saxon monumental sculpture. The cross was smashed by Presbyterian iconoclasts in 1664, and the pieces left in the churchyard until they were restored in 1818 by Henry Duncan. In 1887 it was moved into its current location in Ruthwell church, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, when the apse which holds it was specially built.
The Bewcastle Cross is an Anglo-Saxon cross which is still in its original position within the churchyard of St Cuthbert’s church at Bewcastle, in the English county of Cumbria. The cross, which probably dates from the 7th or early 8th century, features reliefs and inscriptions in the runic alphabet. The head of the cross is missing but the remains are 14.5 feet (4.4 metres) high, and almost square in section (56 x 54 cm at the base).
Nikolaus Pevsner said, “The crosses of Bewcastle and Ruthwell … are the greatest achievement of their date in the whole of Europe.”
Father in heaven,
We thank You for the piety and the skills of the sculptors of the Ruthwell and Bewcastle crosses. Raise up within the Church of England today Christian sculptors and financial donors who desire to give glory and honor to Your name through sculpture. Amen.