Kells Priory in Kilkenny
You’ll find Kells Augustinian Priory about a kilometre from the village of Kells in Kellsborough, Co. Kilkenny. If you’re driving from Kilkenny City, the most direct route is only 15km, and it should take less than 20 minutes.
There are a number of reasons you should add Kells Priory to your list of places to visit. From escaping the bustle of life, to brushing up on your knowledge of Irish history – Kells Priory is one of the most impressive Augustinian priories in Ireland. Or perhaps you just like getting outdoors and visiting interesting places. For me and my family, we just love the excitement and simplicity of exploring, learning as we go, times past and present on this beautiful Island of Ireland.
Kells Priory Carpark
If you are driving, you’ll most likely park at Kells Priory Carpark (Google Coordinates: 52.536798, -7.268278). Here you’ll be greeted by the ruins of St. Kieran’s Church. According to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage historic records indicate that ‘a pre-Norman Catholic church was built on the grounds prior to the establishment of Kells Priory in the twelfth century’ and ‘following the dissolution of the priory by Henry VIII (1491-1547) in 1540 the present structure was re-adapted as a Church of Ireland place of worship until superseded in 1844’
You can’t enter St Kieran’s Church but you can climb the steps up to the locked gate and peep through. We visited on a rainy day in July, when the grass and trees looked shiny and green. But even then the colours and texture of the ground inside the church felt like Autumn.
There’s about 500 metres of grass, sheep and sheep shite between the carpark and the priory, so wear suitable footwear and watch your step if you can. The rain cleared the sheep from the grasslands just as we ventured across. And for a moment I was transfixed on their single file coordination as they came together and crossed the field finding shelter under the trees beyond.