In Ancient Ireland the Chieftains realm had a social welfare system of sorts. While the castle life included feasting and high living the peasants lived a much more subdued life. To provide for the citizenry the King or Chief often provided land for the establishment of a monastery. Here the monks would provide the
social services for the area. These services included such amenities as education, health, religious inspiration and hospitality.
In time, it became a custom for the Chief to sponsor a High Cross to be carved and erected. The cross would include carvings depicting scenes from the bible from the creation to the last judgement. The monks could gather their congregation around and explain the stories to a peasant class who could not read or write. A power point presentation of sorts.
Eventually neighboring Chiefs would sponsor a new cross both more elaborate and even higher. Celtic Crosses became a very significant symbol in Irish Life.