Trees and Wood in Celtic Ireland

by joe, February 19, 2013

One of Ireland’s most common natural native resources, wood has traditionally been used to make household objects. It has also been credited with mythological and mystic properties.

The native woods of Ireland were considered sacred by the ancient Druids, and each tree was treasured for it natural and supernatural properties. The first written language in Ireland called Ogham was carved into wood, each letter representing a tree.

Wood adorns the Irish landscape. Our bogs give up the secrets of their past, the remnants of ancient settlements, bowls, knives forks, brooches, pins and celtic knot jewelry all made out of wood.

The tradition of carving wood goes back to Celtic times. A restless warrior whittles a sapling as he waits for battle. A Druid offers a little wooden necklace as a lucky charm. Celtic Monks illuminate the pages of the great works of Ireland, the Books of Kells and Durrow. Intricate patterns representing animals and trees.

In Penal Times, crosses and rosaries made from wood, simple religious artifacts beautifully and simply carved and carried. Of the 16,000 townlands in Ireland, 13,000 are named after trees. The most famous is Derry – Doire Colmcille – the Oak Grove of St Colmcille.

These influences interweave to inspire and infuse Monson Jewelry.