Picts and Britons in the early medieval Irish Church: Travels west over the storm-swelled sea

Research output: Book/ReportBook


A study of the lives and legacy of Picts and Britons in the Irish Church, looking at their impact on early medieval Irish society and how this impact came to be perceived in later centuries.

Between the fifth and ninth centuries AD, the peoples of Britain, Ireland, and their surrounding islands were constantly interacting — sharing cultures and ideas that shaped and reshaped their communities and the way they lived. The influence of religious figures from Ireland on the development of the Church in Britain was profound, and the fame of monasteries such as Iona, which they established, remains to this day. Yet with the exception of St Patrick, far less attention has been paid to the role of the Britons and Picts who travelled west into Ireland, despite their equally significant impact.

This book aims to redress the balance by offering a detailed exploration of the evidence for British and Pictish men and women in the early medieval Irish Church, and asking what we can piece together of their lives from the often fragmentary sources. It also considers the ways in which writers of later ages viewed these migrants, and examines how the shaping of the ‘migration narrative’ throughout the centuries had a major effect on the way that the earliest centuries of the church came to be viewed in later years in both Scotland and Ireland. In doing so, this volume offers important new insights into our understanding of the relationships between Britain and Ireland in this period.

Oisín Plumb is originally from Edinburgh. He completed his PhD in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh in 2016. He now lives in Orkney, where he is a lecturer at the Institute for Northern Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Number of pages204
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-58347-1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Publication series

NameThe North Atlantic World


  • 25ref2021


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