Skellig Michael: Home of The Last Jedi

If you were looking to isolate yourself from the universe, Skellig Michael, where parts of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were filmed, would be a good place. It's a brutish fist of rock that rises 600 feet out of the Atlantic, about 11 kilometres off the west coast of Ireland.

For centuries, the only inhabitants, apart from the hundreds of thousands of seabirds, were monks. They may have arrived on the island as early as the 6th century. Certainly, by the 8th century, they were well established. They lived on vegetables grown in small gardens on the island, as well as fish and eggs. Although the monks abandoned the island in the 12th or 13th century, six clochán-style beehive huts dating back to their occupation remain standing on the island, along with two oratories.

Unmanned lighthouse

There is also a lighthouse on the island, one of two built in the 1820s. For over 160 years, lighthouse keepers manned the island. In 1987, the remaining lighthouse was converted into an unmanned electric station. Now the island is home only to wildlife—though a girl did find a grizzling curmudgeon there not so long ago. But most people think that's a made-up story. The two latest Star Wars films aren't the only movies to feature the island. The ending of Werner Herzog's 1976 Heart of Glass was filmed here too. Have you ever been out (taking pictures or otherwise) and found yourself in the middle of a major motion picture set? Let me know on Facebook, if you're on there.

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