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Island of Saints and Scholars

We have been learning about ancient monasteries in Ireland and what life was like at that time. We learned that the Abbot was in charge of all the monks and that he had to be obeyed.

Each monastery had a library, a scriptorium where the monks created books based on the Gospels, decorated with beautiful designs. The monks had to make their own paper from calf skin called vellum. They also had to create their own inks and dyes from natural materials. Sometimes, they also had inks and colours delivered to Ireland, by ship , from countries like France and Spain. It could take up to twenty years to create a valuable book like the Book of Kells.

The monks were also skilled metal workers and they created gold chalices like the Ardagh Chalice. They also tied their cloaks, with a special brooch called a Tara Brooch, because buttons had not been invented at that time. Ireland was known as the Island of Saints and Scholars at this time.

We created our own Celtic brooches, with the help of a visitor, Donna, to our school. We had a really fun time learning about High Crosses, Ogham writing,and metal craft design. We hope you like our Celtic brooch designs. Don’t forget to examine the precious gems that we added for effect!!

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Ballyleague NS


Co. Roscommon N39 PX49

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