Kells Priory, County Kilkenny

Kells Priory (Irish: Prióireacht Cheanannais) is one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland.

The Augustine priory is situated alongside King's River beside the village of Kells in the townland of Rathduff (Madden), about 15 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The priory is a National Monument and is in the guardianship of the Office of Public Works. One of its most striking feature is a collection of medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of just over 3 acres (12,000 m2). These give the priory the appearance more of a fortress than of a place of worship and from them comes its local name of "Seven Castles".

4 km southeast of the priory on the R697 regional road is Kilree round tower and 9th century High Cross, said to be the burial place of Niall Caille. It was used in the film Barry Lyndon as the location for the English Redcoat encampment.
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Kells Priory Reviews

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219 reviews
  • This was once a large priory with stone walls for defense. Visitors make donations to enter, cross a sheep pasture, and have access to the priory. We were unfortunate in that there were no guides...  more »
  • It was a huge site with walls and towers clearly designed for defence. 12th to 15th century. No facilities, open 24/7. Car park at top and then a long walk down - this is a massive site - and will...  more »
  • Truly beautiful and nostalgic, and so quiet and peaceful. A wonderful piece of history.
  • Very impressive. Didn't download the app guide . Would have liked to see more information signage around the site.

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