Killarney’s Innisfallen Island
Innisfallen Island which sits offshore from Ross Castle, is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey.
Impressive archaeological remains from early Christian times are to be found in the ruined monastery on Innisfallen Island. The monastery was founded in the 6th/7th century by St.Finian the Leper. It would have been a bleak and desolate place (it still is on a winters day in the 21st century) ideally suited to the life of solitude, prayer and reflection sought after by the monks of those times. The monastery founded by St. Finian flourished over the following centuries and writing and education became synonymous with the island and the monastery.
Over the following hundreds of years “the annals of Innisfallen” were written here by some 39 monks and detail the early history of Ireland written in a combination of Irish and Latin. The Annals are considered of major importance by historians and can be found today in the Bodleian library in Oxford.
Innisfallen Island was the 4th Century learning seat of Europe, Kings and Scholars alike travelled here to study with the Augustinian Monks. It is said that Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, received his education here.
The original 7th century buildings no longer remain. The ruins you see on the island now are from a more recent 12th century Augustinian priory. In more recent times, Innisfallen was used as a venue for banquets and entertaining guests visiting the Kenmare estate.
Keith’s aerial shots above give an idea of size and layout, it is worth a visit to the island in summer. We wouldn’t much fancy being here in the 6th/7th Century mid winter!
Have a great weekend guys!
The Gallery Team