Medieval Irish Tiles of the Public Domain

Ireland’s history is full of beautiful tiling that can be seen on older buildings. These tiles are part of a long tradition that dates back to medieval times and beyond. Let’s learn about the history of medieval Irish tiles.

Changing Times (and Tiles)

The history of medieval Irish tiles can be divided into three periods: the Romanesque, the Gothic and the Renaissance. The first period is called Romanesque because it is based on Roman architecture (from roughly 1000-1200 AD). Likewise, the second period is called Gothic because it was inspired by gothic cathedrals in France and England (1200-1600). Finally, Renaissance design came from Italy during the time period of 1400-1600. It was heavily influenced by classical Greek and Roman architecture.

Irish Tile Design Vector

Medieval Irish Tiles

There are many important medieval buildings in Ireland, including castles, churches and abbeys. These buildings were used as places of worship and social gathering as well as to provide shelter for local people. The tiles that decorate the roofs of these structures were often made from clay, a very common material in Ireland. Clay was found in abundance on the island’s west coast and was the typical material used to make pottery and bricks.

In the earliest medieval period, most tiles were made out of unglazed terracotta. Terracotta is baked clay, and it might also be painted, glazed and decorated. It was utilized because of its durability and ease of use when making large numbers of objects at once. Unglazed terracotta was common in both the Romanesque and Gothic time periods. In Renaissance architecture, glazed ceramics were developed for flooring applications because they were easier to clean than stone or slate floors. These types of materials can still be seen today on many historic buildings throughout Europe and America dating back centuries.

The colors used vary depending on where the tiles were made. Green was a popular choice in parts of Ulster while red was favored elsewhere. Many Irish tiles feature intricate patterns made by pressing designs into them before firing them at high temperatures (up to 1120C). The designs can include images such as animals or geometric shapes as well as words written in Latin script – some examples include “In Deo Confido” (“I trust in God”) or “Laudate Dominum” (“Praise the Lord”).

Where Are All The Tiles?

Some of the buildings featuring medieval Irish tiles include St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin and Kilkenny Castle. As with roofs, the tiles used to decorate the floors of these buildings were mostly made from clay. They were usually decorated with patterns such as diamonds or lozenges (a shape that looks like a diamond). Should you happen to be living in or visiting Ireland, Irish churches and castles would be the most obvious places to look for tiles, but they may also be found in other places as well. Tiles were used underneath chimneys or around doorways in areas which would have been exposed to rainwater, helping to protect against rot.

Medieval Irish Tile Vectors

If you’re interested in medieval Irish tiling, we recommend checking out this collection we put together. It features beautiful examples of this historic art form. The images are sourced from Antient Irish pavement tiles, exhibiting thirty-two patterns : illustrated by forty engravings, after the originals, existing in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Howth, Mellifont, and Newtown Abbeys (1842) by Thomas Oldham. We digitally restored and vectorized the majority of the tiles in the book. Happy medieval tile exploring!

Similar Posts