Sceilg Mhichíl – Attributes of Outstanding Universal Value

Sceilg Mhichíl – Attributes of Outstanding Universal Value

Attributes convey the Outstanding Universal Value of a World Heritage Property and enable an understanding of that value. These attributes should be the focus of protection and management actions.


  1. Most spectacularly situated of all early medieval island monasteries in an isolated and dramatic marine setting, deliberately sited on a pyramidal rock in the ocean
  2. Dramatic topography and scenery of the island with Christ’s Valley 130 m above sea level flanked by the North and South Peaks
  3. Integration within the landscape of the principal monastic remains on a sloping shelf on the north-eastern side of the island and of the hermitage on narrow terraces just below the South Peak within the landscape of the island

Archaeological/architectural/structural features/qualities

  1. Outstanding example of a perfectly preserved early medieval monastic settlement including landing points, flights of steps, terracing, plots for food production, paved areas, living spaces, buildings for worship
  2. Intact indigenous stone architecture of a past millennium, uniquely documenting the evolution of dry-stone masonry techniques
  3. Structural-historical integrity


  1. Symbol of the spread of Christianity and emerging literacy across the world, illustrating the extremes of early Christian monasticism
  2. Strong sense of spirituality derived from the long presence of the monks on the island and the retention of the visual-aesthetic integrity of this iconic site


  1. One of Ireland’s most important sites for breeding seabirds

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