Three high crosses (St John’s, St Matthew’s and St Martin’s) formerly stood in front of the abbey’s west door, and a fourth (St Oran’s) in Reilig Odhrain. Only St Martin’s remains in situ, looking down on an ever-changing world for more than 1,200 years. St Martin’s is sculpted from a single stone. The west face has scenes from the Bible. The east face is richly adorned with bosses and serpents. Slots in the ends of the side-arms once held decorative mounts.
St John’s is a concrete replica, but originally erected here around the same time that the shrine chapel was built. It was designed so that, late in the day, a precise shadow of the cross would be cast onto the doorway into the shrine, emphasizing the great sanctity of this spot.