Irish Monk Beehive-Shaped Stone Huts

 Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield).

(On Skellig Michael)


Photo: "Skellig Michael" Copyright Irish Tourist Board.


Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells." During the period 1,400-900 years ago, Irish Celtic Monks assembled these beehive-shaped stone huts on the rock island of Skellig Michael off the western cosast of Ireland.  They were built by a technique called "drystone" architecture (no mortar was used---yet even today these stone huts are still perfectly water-tight!).  "Skellig" means "Rock".  During the Middle Ages high places were often named for the Archangel Michael (another example would be "Mont St. Michel" on the French Coast)

Photo: of Skellig Michael.  Skellig Michael

Ancient Irish Celtic Monastery

This is what an Irish Monastery of the 4th - 12th Century looked like.  They would also have had an Oratory.  An "Oratory" was a small stone Church for reading the Gospels aloud (all 150 Psalms were memorized for use in their daily prayer: praying the hours).  Many of the Oratories were only large enough to hold twelve people---the number of monks considered optimal in early Irish monasteries.  Some later Monastic communities had hundreds of monks---and their families!  Some of the Celtic Monasteries allowed married monks---the position of Abbot sometimes even passing from father to son.

                   Photo: of our actual Celtic Cross Shield (TM).  The Prayer Foundation Logo and Trademark.  Phot Copyright 2007 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.                     


Related Pages: 


Copyright 2004 S.G.P. All rights reserved. 

  Photo of Skellig Michael Copyright Irish Tourist Board. 

Next  Celtic Pages  FEATURES