Durrow High Cross and Early Christian Monastic Site
St Columcille 5th century
Durrow is the site of the earliest and most important monasteries founded by St Columcille about 550. The Book of Durrow is an illuminated Gospel manuscript which pre-dates the Book of Kells. Both can be seen, close to each other, in Trinity College Dublin. Although the Early Christian monastery no longer exists, physical evidence of its importance remains, as do the anniversaries and festivals in the locality, with the important Pattern of Durrow still taking place every year in June, the first documented evidence of Pattern goes back to1463 and has flourished from 1880’s to this day and is now one of the few remaining patterns in Ireland.
The highly rated High Cross of Durrow, together with several Cross Slabs are now housed, on site, in a small exhibition within a conserved church. This is a fine cross standing at 3.60 metres.
Situated about 500 metres north of the high cross is a holy well known as St Colmcilles well, above the entrance to the well, which has steps leading down to it, is a plaque with AD550 written on it. Nearby, in the woods, stands a Norman motte.