Founded by St. Buithe a follower of St. Patrick, in the late 5th century AD, Monasterboice is most famous for its spectacular high crosses.

Monasterboice was an important centre of spirituality and scholarship until the Cistercians arrived at nearby Mellifont Abbey in 1142.

Muirdach's Cross 10th Century 5.5m (18 ft)

Eastern face:
• Adam and Eve
• Cain murdering Abel
• David and Goliath
• Moses bringing water from the rock to the Israelites
• Three Magi bearing gifts to Mary and Jesus.
• Last Judgment
• The saved on Christ's right
• Devil holding a trident.
• St. Anthony and St. Paul - 3rd century hermit saints.

Western face:
• An inscription translated as, "A prayer for Muiredach for whom the cross was made." accompanied by two cats.
• The arrest of Christ
• Doubting Thomas
• Christ giving the keys of heaven to St. Peter and a book to St. Paul
• Crucifixion scene in the centre.
• (Left Arm) Peter denying Christ.
• (Right Arm) The Resurrection of Christ.
• Moses praying with Aaron and Hur.

West Cross 10th century 6.5m high (21 ft)

Eastern face:
• David killing a lion.
• Abraham sacrificing Isaac.
• Worship of the Golden Calf.
• David with Goliath's head - Samuel anoints David as King.
• Goliath defying the Armies of Israel.
• Horse drawing chariot - Elijah setting forth on his heavenward journey.
• The three holy Children in the Babylonian Furnace.
• The Ascension, Christ with eleven Apostles.
• The Apparition of the Risen Christ – Head of Cross.

• (Left Arm) The Arrest of Christ in Gathsemane.
• (Right Arm) Michael the Archangel drives a crozier into Satan.

Western face:
• The Resurrection
• The Baptism of Christ
• The Twelve Apostles.
• The Crucifixion.

• (Left Arm) Christ blindfolded and mocked.
• (Right Arm) The kiss of Judas.

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