Churches in Early Medieval Ireland:
Architecture, Ritual, and Memory

Tomás Ó Carragáin

Publicaton Date
May 2010
Standard Number
Yale University Press
400 pages

This is the first book devoted to churches in Ireland dating from the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century to the early stages of the Romanesque around 1100, including those built to house treasures of the golden age of Irish art, such as the Book of Kells and the Ardagh chalice. Ó Carragáin's comprehensive survey of the surviving examples forms the basis for a far-reaching analysis of why these buildings looked as they did, and what they meant in the context of early Irish society. Ó Carragáin also identifies a clear political and ideological context for the first Romanesque churches in Ireland and shows that, to a considerable extent, the Irish Romanesque represents the perpetuation of a long-established architectural tradition.