In ancient times, Drumcliffe was referred to as Druim Cliabh na gcros, or Drumcliff of the crosses, due to the number of high crosses found there. While most were probably made of wood, at least some were stone and one of these remains fully intact at Drumcliffe.

The standing undecorated shaft of another high cross is located nearby and, in 1999, two high cross pieces were discovered within the interior walls of the church during renovation works. An undecorated rectangular stone in the adjacent graveyard is believed to be the base block of another cross. Pieces of a further Drumcliffe high cross are in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Ireland.

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