The second part of the Ireland trip involved going out to County Wicklow, whose name is derived from Viking Valley, it is the location of the 6th century monastery of St. Kevin.
All of the buildings are from the 10th and 11th century, and I love them.
My favorite is called Kevin’s kitchen, because the bell tower allowed the smoke out.
I also love the Tower! Popular legend says that it was a defensive tower from the Vikings as the door is so high up and the monks could hide. However, as the Vikings were largely Christianized by the time the building was built, and it is likely that monks would have devised a better means of protection then getting into a stone tower with only one exit ten feet off the ground with only wooden internal structures. The Vikings were known for the use of fire.
It is far more likely to just be a bell tower, a very nice bell tower.
Here is a small shelf used for washing the silver for the Eucharist.
This is a plain cross said to be from the 8th century.
The surrounding location is lovely as well.
There is also a small church higher up the hill much nearer to the two lakes, which Glendalough is named: Glen meaning valley, da meaning two, lough meaning lakes.
I then went out to Trim Castle, a Norman fortification.
The surroundings were beautiful.
The next day I went to Kells to see the remains of the monastic community which used to house the Kells manuscript, and still has four beautiful crosses and a tower.
They are all ring headed and so very elaborately carved.
I was spent several hours in the grave yard.
The carving is so elaborate and impressive.
In Kells I also had a very interesting experience with the Keeper of the Key (singular) of St. Colmcillels House, Mrs. Carpenter and the fact that she was currently passing away. It is a long story, but made short she unfortunately had passed away by the time I left the town and I did not get to go inside but took this lovely photo from the outside.
Then I went to the town’s other cemetery. and found some medieval stones.
It was a nice cemetery, but it was very difficult to find on the map of Kells, as it was completely not to scale.
There is also a Market cross in Kells.
And this one is protected from the elements by a little glass tent.
Here is Sts Paul and Anthony sharing the miraculous bread in the desert.
The Kells carving is so expert and it was so exciting to go and see. I very much enjoyed the trip. I’m now back from Edinburgh, in which I did not leave the conference! But I had an excellent time at all three conferences I’ve attended these past weeks. Now back to the grind, and planning the next couple conference for later this summer and the next Lords production.