The lonely life of a monk

The lonely life of a monk

David Carr |

There is little left standing of the monastic site of Riasc, save for the Riasc Ogham Stone. The early 7th Century settlement is off the beaten track even by today’s standards, but fourteen hundred years ago it would have felt truly isolated.That is after all what the monks wanted. Living in little clocháns: solemn, empty beehive shaped stone huts, they devoted their lives to prayer and study.

In that solitude they carved the Riasc Ogham stone, a monument inspired perhaps to remind them why they chose their life of loneliness. It bears a Greek cross encircled in distinctly Celtic flowing patterns, inscribed on the left in Ogham ‘Domine’ (Oh Lord).


Riasc Ogham Stone Riasc Ogham Stone pendant
The mason who carved the standing stone at Riasc was likely well respected for his important skill and artistic flair. Such craftsmen are generally well respected on the Dingle peninsula today. Thanks to those lonely monks artists like Brian de Staic don’t even have to leave the peninsula to see inspiration, or sleep in a cold beehive hut…

See our collection of Jewellery inspired by Riasc