Scotland: Archaeologists discover monastery of St. Moluag, 7th-century evangelist to Picts

Lismore, Scotland, March 29, 2024

Photo: Photo:     

Six years of archaeology work on the Scottish island of Lismore have yielded exciting results: Experts believe they have uncovered evidence of the monastery built there by St. Moluag, the 7th-century evangelist to the Picts.

The work, organized by the Lismore Historical Society, uncovered various remnants of a monastic site in the area where the St. Moluag Cathedral stands today, including a stone building dating to the 7th century, an enclosure, a burial site with grave markers and cross slabs, a craft working area, and more.

The entrance to the monastic oval building. Photo: The entrance to the monastic oval building. Photo:     

Workshops where craftsmen made jewelry from precious metals and carvings in stone, wood, bone, and antler “confirm that the site ranks in importance with other prominent ecclesiastical and monastic early medieval establishments in Scotland such as Iona, Portmahomack, and Inchmartin,” reports the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre.

In all, 1,500 significant objects have been found at the site.

St. Moluag (†592) was an Irish nobleman, a contemporary of St. Columba, who evangelized the Picts of Scotland. He founded a number of monasteries, including on the island of Lismore.

Read more about the saint in the article, “Saint Moloug of Lismore.”

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