- Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Kerry

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kerry Site name: Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR KE097-067SMR KE097-036 Licence number:



ITM: E 443360m, N 566095m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 51.825111, -10.272500

In October 1962 human remains were discovered on the seashore close to the Augustinian monastery at Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry.118 The skeleton was noticed close to the surface in sandy soil, which had previously been bog but had been washed away by coastal erosion. The remains spanned an area c. 1.68m long and the bones are described as being black in colour. There was no evidence of stones around the grave, and no associated artefacts were noticed. The remains were sent to the National Museum and were examined by Professor C.A. Erskine. The skull was identified as that of a young adult female.119 Ballinskelligs Abbey is the priory of the Arroasian Canons of the order of St Augustine and was founded in 1210. The early monastery of Skellig Michael was apparently transferred to this site prior to the mideleventh century owing to the hazardous conditions on the rock (O’Sullivan and Sheehan 1996, 347). The burial may be associated with the monastic graveyard, which has apparently suffered considerably from erosion (ibid.), but owing to the lack of contextual information it is not possible to be certain.

118. Parish of Prior, barony of Iveragh. SMR KE097-067——; exact location not marked, but the find-spot was apparently 90m east of Ballinskelligs Abbey (SMR KE097-036——).
119. The remains were subsequently returned to the finder, Mr Frank Donaldson.