Reask

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Coordinates: 52°10′2.74″N 10°23′16.02″W / 52.1674278°N 10.3877833°W / 52.1674278; -10.3877833

Ogham Standing stone at Reask

Reask (Irish: Riasc) is a ruined early Monastic site located 1 km east of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, County Kerry, Ireland. Although nothing remains of the buildings but low walls and a cross-slab standing stone which sits in the middle of the compound, this site gives a very good idea of the layout of a small monastery of the Early Medieval period.[1] [2]

Excavations by Tom Fanning in the 1970s revealed the ruins of an oratory, several clocháns (stone huts), some conjoined, a graveyard and about ten decorated stone slabs, of which one is a particularly fine example. This pillar measures 1.64 metres in height and is 0.6 metres wide by 0.26 metres thick and is decorated with an encircled Greek cross from which are pendant spiral designs terminating in a pelta. The stone was decorated in Early Christian times (c. 7th century). The letters 'DNE' - D(omi)ne - O Lord, are set sideways to the cross. A second stone is decorated with a large Latin cross coupled with bifurcated terminals and two crosslets in the upper angles. After the oratory was abandoned, the site was used as a ceallurach (children's burial ground) and further burials were made in box-like arrangements of stones, some covered with quartz and seashore pebbles. The monastic enclosure surrounding these features pre-dates the two groups of double clochans. One of the smaller cross-pillars has a stylised bird. Another has the inscription DNO on one side and DNI on the other.[3] [2] Some of the artefacts found in the excavation at Reask, including some of the cross-inscribed stones, are on display in Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne, which is in the nearby village of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.[4]

The site is a National Monument in state care.[1]

Reask Monastic Site panorama

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Harbison, Peter (1992). Guide to the National and Historic Monuments of Ireland (3 ed.). Gill & Macmillan. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-7171-1956-1. 
  2. ^ a b Cuppage, Judith (1986). Archaeological Survey of the Dingle Peninsula. Bennett Isabel; Cotter, Clare; O Rahilly, Celie. Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne. pp. 336–345. ISBN 978-0-906096-06-2. 
  3. ^ Weir, A (1980). Early Ireland. A Field Guide. Belfast: Blackstaff Press. p. 159. 
  4. ^ "Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne: Exhibitions". Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 

Sources[edit]

  • McNally, Kenneth. "Ireland's Ancient Stones". Belfast: Appletree Press, 2006. ISBN 0-86281-996-2
  • Noonan, Damien. "Castles & Ancient Monuments of Ireland". London: Arum Press, 2001. ISBN 1-85410-752-6
  • Fanning, Thomas. "Excavation of an Early Christian Cemetery and Settlement at Reask, County Kerry, 1981, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Vol.81C, p67-172

External links[edit]