Tracing the Community of Comgall across the North Channel: an interdisciplinary investigation of Early Medieval monasteries at Bangor, Applecross, Lismore, and Tiree

McNamara, Carolyn Jeanette (2021) Tracing the Community of Comgall across the North Channel: an interdisciplinary investigation of Early Medieval monasteries at Bangor, Applecross, Lismore, and Tiree. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This research project places the North Channel at the centre of an active and peopled seascape. Rather than viewing the foundations around its rim as peripheral in relation to more inland centres of power and modern understanding, the goal is to place the North Channel Zone at the centre of an active and connected region. Although modern scholarship widely accepts the existence of an ecclesiastical Community based around Columba and his foundation of Iona, and Dalriadan holdings on both sides of the North Channel, there has been less scholarship surrounding the idea of a North Channel seascape awash in the movement of peoples and community structures.

In order to examine this idea more fully, a case study approach is employed on another proposed Community of monasteries linked by the sea: those related to, or potentially related to, St Comgall and his main monastery at Bangor. The main question asked focuses on whether a Community of Comgall wider than the monastery of Bangor itself existed between the sixth to eleventh centuries. This inquiry is made by selecting specific sites in the west of Scotland: Applecross and the islands of Lismore and Tiree, and undertaking an interdisciplinary analysis of the sites, including textual, art historical, archaeological, and toponymic evidence along with a general phenomenological approach. A chapter is devoted to each site in turn.

The findings indicate that a Community of Comgall is discernible. Additionally, the importance and influence of Applecross, Lismore, and Tiree within their respective seascapes and landscapes are highlighted by the available evidence. The influence and importance of additional ecclesiastical foundations in the west of Scotland, especially those with connections to the Community of Comgall based at Bangor in Ireland, is brought into clearer focus. This allows a fuller understanding of the movement of people and ideas between the west of Scotland and north of Ireland in the early medieval period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: early medieval, monastic, landscape, seascape, networks, interdisciplinary, insular, Ireland, Scotland, history, archaeology, art history, saints, cross slabs, crosses.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Supervisor's Name: Thomas, Professor Clancy and Katherine, Professor Forsyth
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Ms Carolyn J. McNamara
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82061
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 15:38
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 15:49
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82061
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82061

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