Studies in the Layout, Buildings and Art in Stone of Early Irish Monasteries


24 x 17 cm
325 pp. 144 illus.
Publication: 1995
ISBN 0 907132 81 2
ISBN-13 978 0 907132 81 3


Book Description

Professor Herity is one of the leading archaeologists in the Early Christian period in Ireland. These papers document a sustained interest in the early development of Irish Christian monasteries and hermitages between the years 400 and 700. Major concerns include the form and layout, buildings and other monuments of these early foundations, particularly those on islands in the Atlantic, most of which were founded before 600. Examination of their cross-carved slabs and pillars has led to a study of the forms of the Tomb of the Founder Saint and the characteristic pilgrimage round known in Irish as an Turas and still performed today. The development of ideas based on the pioneer work of Françoise Henry is documented in two papers on Fechin’s hermitage at Ardoiléan or High Island off the Galway coast in 1977 and 1990. Recent papers are also concerned with the forms of the Chi-rho and other early crosses in the insular context.


  • Preface
  • The High Island Hermitage
  • The Buildings and Layout of Early Irish Monasteries before the Year 1000
  • The Layout of Irish Early Christian Monasteries
  • The Ornamented Tomb of the Saint at Ardoiléan, Co. Galway
  • Early Irish Hermitages in the Light of the Lives of Cuthbert
  • The Antiquity of an Turas (the Pilgrimage Round) in Ireland
  • Cathair na Naomh and its Cross-slabs
  • Carpet Pages and Chi-rhos
  • Building in Unmortared Stone to the Early Christian Period in Ireland
  • The Hermitage on Ardoiléan, county Galway
  • The Forms of the Tomb-shrine of the Founder Saint in Ireland
  • The Chi-Rho and Other Early Cross-forms in Ireland
  • Early Christian Decorated Slabs in Donegal
  • Additional Notes
  • Index

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