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Reask Monastic Settlement
 

County

Kerry

Coordinates

N 52° 10' 03.3"   W 010° 23' 14.4"

Nearest town

Dingle

Grid Ref.

Q 36711 04384

Map No.

70

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

22

Date of visit

Wednesday 26 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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A view over the amazing monastic settlement at Reask.


The site is a stone enclosure of a roughly rhomboidal shape with rounded corners and is divided in two sections by a dry stone wall that follows a curving pattern from roughly the southwest to the east.
The southeast section of the enclosure contains a small rectangular church, which probably was boat-shaped like the Gallarus Oratory, at the east part of the enclosure. Around this small church there's a small cemetery with 42 very old graves. This same area was used as a Ceallùnach or Cillin (unbaptised children's burial ground) after the monastic settlement was abandoned.
The other section of the enclosure is quite empty, though it's larger than the other one.
Seven round clocháns, four of them arranged in groups of two at the southwest and the north-northwest of the site, two lonely round clocháns at the southeast and the northeast, and one rectangular clochán at the south are incorporated along the enclosing wall of the settlement.
In the same settlement some cross-inscribed stone pillars can be found, including the wonderful and famous "Reask Stone", with an excellent decoration of a Maltese cross inscribed in a circle and other scrolled patterns on its west (280°) face. On one side of this decoration are three incised letters, DNE, which stand for "Domine". This pillar is 1.81 metres tall and about 58 centimetres wide.
Another slender and shorter pillar is to the southeast from the large one. It has a very elungated Latin cross and the three letters DNS at the bottom on the west side and a shorter Latin cross and the three letters DNO on the other side. There's another cross pillar where the stone dry wall meets the external enclosure wall at the east end of the settlement.
A squarer pillar is at the entrance of the small church and carries an incised cross with bifurcated ends and with two smaller crosses above the arms, almost like in the Crusaders style.


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