Skellig Michael Islands History – Skellig Islands

Skellig Michael history

Skellig Michael Islands  history

Hello friends, thank you for visiting our site. Today I have the pleasure to share with you about Skellig Michael Islands, which are world renowned for their uniqueness and they are without doubt a top sightseeing destination in Ireland.

 Also guys I encourage you to browse around this website as we have lots of tips and information that will give you a reason to visit Ireland particularly County Kerry which  hosts uncountable tourism attractions.

Skellig Michael Islands

Standing impressively on the Atlantic Ocean, Skellig Michael Islands are located 11.6 kilometres west of Iveragh Peninsula in the tourist county of Kerry. The history of  these two islands in the name of Skellig Michael or Great Skellig and Small Skellig can be told basing on the following three remarkable eras in the Islands;

  • Pre-monastic,
  • Monastic,
  • Post Monastic.

First and foremost, the name Skellig derives its origin from “Sceillic” which is used by Irish to mean a steep rock. This gives you an idea of the islands. Skellig Michael which is the larger of these two islands stands majestically to the elevation of about 715 ft. Ok guys; let me take you through these three eras of Skellig Michael Islands so that you can enjoy the most of islands’ history.


Skellig Michael Islands Prior to Monks

It is believed that the islands were uninhabited before 8th Century. Old tales narrates that Ir who was the son of Mil Espaine was buried on the Great Skellig. Mil Espaine is the mythical ancestor of the final inhabitants of Ireland. This mythical ancestor with his wife Scota, his uncle Ith and their other relatives holds one of the amazing ancient history narrations you don’t have to miss guys. Just plan your Skellig Michael Islands tour with us to realize all those.

Skellig Michael Islands Monastery

The First Monk

It is claimed that the first monk on the Skellig Michael Islands was Saint Finnian of Clonard. Considered by by many as a father of Irish monasticism, Saint Finnian who it is also said almost all of the birds of Ireland gathered soon after his birth at the end of 5th Century as a sign of the holy life he would lead used much of his time preaching in Wales until he later returned to his homeland and found churches most noticeably at Great Skellig which is the larger among Skellig Michael Islands.

The life of Monks on Skellig Michael Islands

That is said to have opened the door to more monks to move to the Skellig Michael and it is said that until the late years of 8th century, the Islands hosted a good number of monks who lived by eating vegetables, grains, fish and meat & eggs of birds in the islands which are renowned as the hosts for Ireland’s largest Northern gannet colony with nearly 30,000 pairs. Having said so, it is then clear now that these monks preferred maintaining vegetable gardens to ensure their diet. 

Monks’ huts on Skellig Michael Islands

At the moment in the Skellig Michael Islands are six beehive shaped huts, two oratories and later medieval church that have been careful maintained to give us a true taste of the life of the monks who were constantly evaded by Vikings during 8th and 9th century. Though Vikings humiliated the monks and even drowned in the Atlantic Sea, some ancient narrations claims that monks ended up baptizing atleast a single Viking

Monks come to an end on Skellig Michael Islands

It is documented that the monastery remained occupied until the late 12th century and after the climate in Islands became even colder and more prone to storms along with other changes to the structure of Irish Church, the community abandoned the islands for any living purposes only to be used later for tourism.

Skellig Michael Islands after Monastery era

Skellig Michael Islands is said to be known to many from the beginning of 15th century. During this period monks were no longer available. In 1996 the Skellig Michael was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the islands have been acknowledged as the islands with exceptional universal values and unique example of an early religious settlement. Skellig Michael Islands are beautiful and unique islands that many have compared them to nowhere.

Plan your tour now

With Skellig Michael Cruises, I must remind you guys that South Kerry is the home to the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. With its spectacular mountains, beautiful lakes and Atlantic Ocean coastline, South Kerry stands among the most scenic areas on the planet do not wait any longer before planning your tour to these magnificent Islands.

Contact us now and we will get back to you promptly and plan you a memorable Skellig islands boat trip to Skellig Michael Islands.