From the late 4th century Ireland began to convert to Christianity and the foundation of monasteries spread throughout the Island. These developed to become our first ‘towns’ with streets, churches, schools, round towers and defensive walls. They became great European centres for all types of craftwork culminating with the creation of our decorated manuscripts (e.g. Book of Kells). The Vikings arrived during this period but after a bit of raiding and pillaging they settled down and introduced coinage, developed international trade routes as well as establishing our first real towns such as Dublin, Waterford and Limerick.
Monuments for this period include Churches, Ecclesiastical enclosed sites, High Crosses, Round towers, Ogham stones, Ring forts, Crannogs, Souterrains and Promontory forts…as well as exceptional metalworking like the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice.
Here are some significant examples of buildings, landmarks and monuments built during the Early Medieval period 400 – 1150 a.d (early Christian)