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Kells Priory, County Kilkenny

(4.9/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
Kells Priory 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, 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. 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to see and it's free. Some other places are closed because it's not prim tourist season. We walked around and took tons of pictures. Just wish there were some plaques explaining the differ...  more »
  • We combined visiting the ruins of Kells Priory with a visit to Jerpoint Abbey and the monastic site in Kilree. Kells Priory is an impressivly large site. We were joking around that the monks might hav...  more »
  • This was our second time to this ancient area and is beautiful. Our problem this time was that there was moist ground and was slick as could be on the hills leading to the Priory. We had to abandon ou...  more »
Google
  • What a great place, a peaceful fortified monastery beside a small river. It's a very unusual set of buildings with its defensive outer walls with towers and arrow slots. During the summer there are guided tours for free that take you through the history of Kells and up through the restored building of the Prior's House.
  • Very unusual in that priory has a defensive wall. Huge site with plenty to see. There are two car parks - one which is sign posted and overlooks the priory and another which is on other side where there is a cafe. It was free to go round and there was a guided tour up the main tower.
  • Huge grounds with lots of ruins to explore and even play hide and seek! Bring a picnic and watch the sunset. So wonderful here
  • Beautiful scenery in a secluded location. Ruins of towers churches and buildings with sheep moving throughout
  • Beautiful ruins! Be prepared to walk through the sheep field, which is pretty great!