St Kevin (618) lived as a hermitage here by the upper lake. The name means ‘glen of the 2 lakes’ He may have been educated in Wales by St Petroc. There is also St Kevin’s Cave higher up the valley.
Disciples gathered and eventually the monastery was built by the lower lake and became in effect a ‘monastic city’.
The original gateway of the monastery survives with the stone of sanctuary just inside the gate for fugitives from justice.
Also up at the end by the Upper lake is the11C ‘Reefert’ church which means the ‘burial place’ (of kings) with, grave markers in the graveyard still in place. There is also an old caher with boundary crosses
At the other end is the 12 C Trinity Church, 12C St Saviour’s Church and the 12C St Mary’s Church. There is a 10C Cathedral, a 9-10C Cross and Oratory (called St Kevin’s kitchen) and St Ciaran’s church. The 12C ‘Priests’ House is called that because priests buried there in penal times but it may possibly have been built to house St Kevin’s relics.
There is a Round Tower, grave slabs, and A Holy Well and Tree.
see also: Jim Dempsey’s Megalithic Ireland on TEMPLE-NA-SKELLIG in Co Wicklow.
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