White Island is an island in Lower Lough Erne about 7 miles south west of Ederney. It is situated in Castle Archdale Bay off the east shore of Lower Lough Erne. The ruins of an ancient church are found near the shore, built on the site of an earlier monastic settlement. It still has an intact arched Romanesque doorway. The Church and carved figures are State Care Historic Monuments sited in the townland of White Island, in Fermanagh District Council area. The rath, earthwork and area surrounding the state care monument are Scheduled Historic Monuments.
The island is best known for its carved figures which sit in a line along the interior north wall of the church, most carved wearing the long tunics of churchmen. They are all carved in quartzite and were probably constructed between 800 and 1000, and were later used as building stones in the church, before being uncovered in recent centuries. Helen Hickey has identified them as three pairs of caryatids. Each pair a different height and suggests that because of the sockets on the top of their heads that they may have supported a pulpit or preaching chair of an earlier possible wooden church. One popular theory is that the figures illustrate an episode in the life of St. Patrick, when Patrick heals a local King. This event is linked strongly with the Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland.
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