Elevated survival

Patrick Bowe unearths how medieval monks fished, foraged and cultivated one of Ireland’s earliest known kitchen gardens on the cliffs of the windswept island of Skellig Michael

Among the earliest remains of gardens in Ireland are those that were attached to the monastery of Skellig Michael until the early 12th century. Although foraging for wild food was a preoccupation during that period, written evidence of the cultivation of food plants in what might be termed ‘kitchen gardens’ survives and much archaeological information has come to light about the monks’ gardening activities and their diet.

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