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Kilbawn Bed and Breakfast
(Dungarvan Village)
Gowran Co Kilkenny

Tel: 00353 (0)56 7793 883

Kells Priory

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A National Monument from the medieval ages, Kells Priory is one of the biggest monuments in Ireland and also one of the most impressive. Originally an Augustine priory, it is in Kells, a small village about 15km from Kilkenny to the south and also 15km from our bed and breakfast Kilkenny.
One of its most interesting features is a set of medieval tower houses which are added at set intervals alongside the walls and also inside the main walls surrounding the site. The site itself is very large, over three acres in size. These tower make the priory appear more like a castle or fortress than that of a church. It is from these tower houses that the Priory is known locally as "Seven Castles".

Kells Priory

Geoffrey FitzRobert (who was Strongbows brother-in-law) founded Kells Priory in 1193.
During the first 150 years in existence, Kells Priory was pillaged 3 times by invading forces; 1252, 1326 and again the following year 1327. The heavy turret walls may date from this time. If attacks were regular, its seems likely they would build a more sturdy wall.

Kells Priory

The 9th Earl of Ormonde, James Butler was handed over the Priory and its lands in 1540. Tom Fanning, a state archaeologist, began an excavation of the site in 1972. It became one of the largest ever undertaken in Ireland, with over 20,000 ‘finds’ of archaeological significance. These included painted glass artefacts, pottery, stone tiles and stone carvings.

Kells Priory


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