5 Amazing Facts About the History of Skellig Island | The Smugglers Inn, Waterville, Co. Kerry
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History of Skellig Island

5 Amazing Facts About the History of Skellig Island

Skellig Island is recently well-known for its role in hosting the “Star Wars” cast, providing an out-of-this-world, remote Island. The scenic beauty of Skellig Island is enough to make one bask in the wonder of its secluded nature and impressive architecture.

Star War Skellig Island

Star War movie making of.

If you’re planning on taking a voyage to visit and explore, or maybe you just want to find out more interesting things about this amazing place, we’ve put together five of the most amazing facts about Skellig Island that remain largely unknown by many.

Skellig Island was once the home of a community of isolated monks

From the 6th to 8th century, to the late 12th century, Skellig Island was inhabited by monks. Thought to have founded the Island, monks from the Gaelic Christian monastery relocated when the changing structure of the church and the drastic weather conditions became too much. The monks built intricate beehive huts using stones, but no mortar. These still stand today, along with a grave a yard, and have certainly stood the test of time

618 stone steps wind up to the summit

If you’re thinking of visiting Skellig Island, not only must you prepare yourself for the hour-long journey, but you need to take into account the climb when you arrive. The winding path eventually leads you to the summit where all the hard work will be worth it. Visitors can expect breath-taking views and perfect photo opportunities. The steps can be known to be slippery when the bad weather hits.

Skellig Michael was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 

Rightly pronounced as a “unique example of an early religious settlement,” Skellig Michael finally made it as World Heritage Site in 1996. During the 6th or 8th century, Skellig Island was a Gaelic Christian Monastic settlement.

Vikings tried to take over…and failed!

In 823 when the monks were still inhabiting the reclusive Island, the Vikings set their sights on taking over after rampaging through Ireland. The monks managed to evade the invasion, sadly for reasons unknown, but an impressive fact all the while.

Skellig Island has remained inhabited for 1000 years

Although Skellig Island welcomed pilgrimages from the mainland around 400 years after the monks abandoned it, no one settled, leaving nature to thrive undisturbed for centuries. The Island proved a haven for wildlife and its sister Island, little Skellig, is home to an abundance of seabirds! Now people are starting to rediscover the lost wonder of Skellig Island, its welcoming more tourists but we doubt anyone would want to settle here with its harsh conditions and seclusion from the rest of the world.

About the Author Henry Hunt

Henry Hunt's culinary career began early on, inspired by his parents and their love and respect for quality and tradition. He sought opportunities to further develop his own creativity and trained as a chef in the Caribbean, Australia and Europe. Working in Michelin restaurants L'ecrivian Dublin, Le Cygne Geneva and the Fat Duck Berkshire to name but a few. This culinary pilgrimage gave the basis of The Smugglers Inn and Smugglers Cafe with a mixture of traditional and modern cuisine.

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