St. Martin's Cross was carved from a single slab of gray epidiorite in the mid to late 8th Century. The most perfect of the surviving crosses on Iona, it stands in its original position where the monks of the island monastery placed it twelve hundred years ago.
The cross, including its base, is 17 feet hight and is carved from a stone that originally came from Argyll, Scotland. The raised circles, or bosses, are thought to represent God with everything revolving around Him. Intertwined between these bosses are serpents, which in the Celtic world represented rebirth since the snake sheds its old skin; symbolizing our rebirth into a new life upon acceptance of Jesus. The ring around the cross head represents eternal life and is a common feature in Celtic Crosses.