Kells Priory, Kilkenny

Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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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 features 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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
226 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • So much history. How did they build such a massive structure? So many elements. Then there's the beautiful walk to and along the river. After that you come upon the old mills converted to... 
    So much history. How did they build such a massive structure? So many elements. Then there's the beautiful walk to and along the river. After that you come upon the old mills converted to...  more »
  • We love this place. It is a Priory that is partly ruined and such a beautiful setting. The beginning has a QR code you can scan on your phone. Then you can read or listen to the history. It has a... 
    We love this place. It is a Priory that is partly ruined and such a beautiful setting. The beginning has a QR code you can scan on your phone. Then you can read or listen to the history. It has a...  more »
  • If you are ever in Kilkenny and looking for things to do, go check out Kells Priory Castle which is a twenty-minute drive from the city centre (8 miles). The history of the castle and Kells Priory is....  more
    If you are ever in Kilkenny and looking for things to do, go check out Kells Priory Castle which is a twenty-minute drive from the city centre (8 miles). The history of the castle and Kells Priory is....  more »
Google
  • Plenty of room for parking
  • Decent size carpark. Very clean considering there are no bins around. Picnic tables for when you come back after doing looped walk. But my pet hate at tourist spots, height restrictions at the entrance, meaning anyone driving a camper or towing a caravan can't use it. Ridiculous!
  • Height barrier over parking meant I had to park in town and walk out. Not much parking Kells so watch out for that if you're in a camper
  • Always a joy to visit kells priory .
  • Truly beautiful and nostalgic, and so quiet and peaceful. A wonderful piece of history.

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