There is a deserted island with 80 acres of pristine Irish-green landscape and Catholic historical significance off the Connemara coast. High Island, also known as Ardoileán, contains the ruins of a 7th-century monastery believed to be founded by St. Féchín of Fore, which is a national monument maintained by the Irish Office of Public Works. Now, you can become the caretaker of your very own monastic ruins, as the island is up for auction at Spencer Auctioneers.
The Irish Times reports archaeologists have found evidence of human settlement of Ardoileán as far back as 300 BC, but some suggest that humans were visiting the island as far back as 1,000 BC. In the 7th century AD, Ardoileán became the home of a hardy group of monks, believed to be led by St. Féchín of Fore, who is the patron saint of the island.
The island still boasts the monastic structures, including the roofless remains of a church with an altar, a completely intact beehive stone hut, and several other stone structures that have fallen into disrepair. There is also the remains of a water mill, which is believed to be one of the oldest examples of an Irish monastic mill. While the owner of the island will be free to visit the ruins, they will be excluded from the sale, as they are still under the protection of the Irish government.
The island contains two freshwater lakes and a plethora of birds, which has allowed the island to act as a bird sanctuary for many years. In the 19th century the land was leased to copper miners, who abandoned their efforts in the 1820s.