The Brendan Voyage

The Brendan Voyage


Tim Severin

It has been described as the greatest epic voyage in modern Irish history. Tim Severin and his companions built a boat using only techniques and materials available in the sixth-century A.D, when St Brendan was supposed to have sailed to America.

The vessel comprised forty-nine ox hides stitched together in a patchwork and stretched over a wooden frame. This leather skin was only a quarter of an inch thick. Yet Severin and his crew sailed her from Brandon Creek in Dingle to Newfoundland, via the Hebrides – with stopover in Stornoway – Faero Islands and Iceland, surviving storms and a puncture from pack ice.


The Voyage of St Brendan (map)

“The Brendan Voyage”, the film and the book, is Tim Severin’s dramatic account of their journey. Already translated into twenty-seven languages, a new edition of the book introduces a new generation of readers to an enduring classic. Tim Severin didn’t prove St Brendan reached America, only that he could have, that it was possible.

Brilliantly written, “The Brendan Voyage” conveys unforgettably the sensation of being in a small, open boat in the vastness of the North Atlantic, visited by inquisitive whales, reaching mist-shrouded landfalls, and receiving a welcome from seafaring folk wherever the crew touched land.

Tim Severin on Wikipedia


St Brendan and the Demon, German School 1499

Tim Severin will show the film of the voyage and also speak about how it influenced his historical fiction writing.

Introduced and chaired by Ian Stephen, writer and sailor.

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