Saints Home Stones

Each month, this website features two journeys to take to explore the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. This month features a one-day visit to several of the Isle of Lewis Stone Sites, and a two-day visit to the Dingle Peninsula Saints Sites.

Books: The Road Wet, the Wind Close: Celtic Ireland by James Charles Roy. If I had to suggest books to read about the saints and stones of Ireland, this work no doubt would be on my list if not at the top of my list. Roy explores early Irish history from the island's first inhabitants around 7000 B.C. to the Norman invasion of A.D. 1169. Beautifully written, Roy combines scholarship with personal reminiscence and contemporary interviews to give a well-rounded portrait of the Celtic past and its hold on the present. Each chapter focuses on a particular geographical or archaeological site and examines the entire historical period the site represents. Highly recommended.

Publications: History Scotland. Scottish Archaeology is prominently featured in this publication, providing the reader with the latest Scottish archaeology news, including dig reports and finds analysis. In addition, archaeology volunteer opportunities, courses and summer schools, and onsite and online events, and recommded books are found on its website. Subscribing to this bi-monthly publication comes with exclusive access to online history, archaeology and heritage articles, interviews and more.

Websites and Blogs: The main goal of the The British Pilgrimage Trust, founded in 1914, is "to advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing, for the public benefit." According to the BPT "'Holistic wellbeing' includes physical, mental, emotional, social, community, environmental and spiritual health, and we aim to make these benefits accessible to wide new audiences. Pilgrimage has the potential to promote community and diversity in Britain's spiritual landscape." The BPT welcomes members. In 2019, it published its first book: Britain's Pilgrim Places, a great work covering more than 500 enchanting holy places, all 48 major pilgrimage routes, and every medieval cathedral in the U.K.

Podcasts: The great passage tomb of Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of County Meath is one of Ireland's most iconic monuments. A World Heritage Site, it is one of the most visited monuments by people from all over the world. This Amplify Archaeology podcast features Dr. Jessica Smyth of the University College Dublin discussing Newgrange & Neolithic Ireland. Our second presentation is an English Heritage Voices of England podcast that features trustee Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol on the legacy of pre-Christian beliefs. Discover what the earliest settlers in England believed, the evidence that can still be found in our historic landscapes, our ancient ritual monuments and our language, and how the arrival of Christianity changed English society as a whole in this podcast, How pre-Christian Beliefs Shaped Our Landscape, Landmarks and Language.

Organizations: In 2012, Dig Ventures launched the world's first-ever crowdfunded and crowdsourced archaeological excavation at Flag Fen, a Bronze Age wetlands site and Scheduled Ancient Monument near Peterborough, UK. It was a huge success, raising a worldwide community of over 250 citizen archaeologists and enough monetary contributions to run an internationally-important collaborative archaeological research project. Since then, the organization has run over 40 projects and grown its community each year. A current online course offered by the organization may be of interest. See How to Do Archaeology.

Art/Photography: Aidan Hart, a member of the Greek Orthodox Church living in Britain, has been a full-time icon painter and carver for over twenty-five years. He has worked in more than twenty countries of the world and in many cathedrals and monasteries. According to Hart, "his aim, in accordance with the Byzantine icon tradition, is to make liturgical art that manifests the world transfigured in Christ." He has given this website permission to link to his site, Aidan Hart Sacred Icons, which contains a variety of beautiful icons. In particular, the reader is directed to the section of his website featuring Western Saints, many of whom are connected to the Saints Sites visited in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

Videos: Land, Sea and Sky: The Archaeology of Coasts and Islands was a 2020 conference sponsored by Archaeology Ireland that explores the archaeology and settlement of islands, coastal areas, and the sea that links them. The conference also exploreed the connections of archaeological heritage with local and coastal communities and its role in establishing a sense of place. Five different sessions are available for viewing online. Presentation List.

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Suggestions, comments, and questions are always welcome.