Kells Priory (Irish: Prióireacht Cheanannais) is one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland.
The Augustine priory at Kells, county Kilkenny 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 (OPW)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 Niall mac Áeda (died 917) who was a High King of Ireland.
The Priory has been undergoing a ten year long renovation project that is approaching its completion, the priory is looking amazing and has been secured for many years to come.
Here I post some new images taken during a very enjoyable visit last Sunday afternoon.
A History of Kells Priory
Kells Priory, Gallery
I took these images late yesterday afternoon at Kells Priory , County Kilkenny. Sunday was a foggy day here with the mist on the ground all day into this morning but the old remains of the priory looked so gray and haunted in the fog.
Last night I found this poem, it relates more to a castle in Scotland but fits so well how kells cal look on a foggy winters day.
A Castle Old And Grey
By : Alexander Anderson
I never see a castle
That is gaunt and grey and grim,
But my thoughts at once go backward
To the past so misty and dim.
To the time when tower and turret,
Kept watch far over the vale;
And along the sounding draw-bridge
Rode knights in their suits of mail.
I see the sunshine glancing
On helmet, pennon, and spear;
And hear from the depth of the forest,
A bugle calling clear.
I fill the hall with visions
Of ladies rich in their bloom;
And stately knights in armour,
And waving with feather and plume.
If I climb the broken stairway,
Where the stone is smooth and fine,
I hear a rustle and whisper,
And footsteps in front of mine.
Whisper of youth and maiden,
As they met in the long ago;
His deep and strong and manly,
Hers tender and sweet and low.
But maiden and youth have vanished,
Away from the scene and the light;
Gone, too, the high-born lady,
And the plumed and armoured knight.
Only the grey old castle,
Of crumbling stone and lime,
Still stands to speak of the ages,
And the iron footsteps of Time.
Kells Priory , county Kilkenny on a foggy day
Kells Priory is located at Kells in county Kilkenny and is a great place to visit if you are in the county.
While most of America and Canada are dealing with snow storms and sub zero temperatures this winter , Ireland has been very mild with well over 40mm of rain during the Christmas period. I visited the Priory yesterday and most of the grounds are under water from flooding. The water however added a new feeling to the priory grounds and I took the following images to capture the atmosphere of an Irish winter here.
Kells Priory, Winters Gallary
I told you it was great in here…
I know I left it here someplace, maybe right at the bottom – hang on
now for a good old run around
followed by sunning my belly…
So are you going to stop sitting in front of that Laptop after breakfast or what?
The Grave of Thomas Darcy, Kells priory, Co.Kilkenny
“Erected by, Mary Morrissey in memory of her Father THOMAS DARCY, who died March 29th 1889 aged 58 – also her brother JAMES who died MARCH 29th 1912 aged 36 years and her beloved Mother who died Feb 23rd 1913 aged 76 years and her sister who died young.”
All of them lie almost forgotten, even their headstone has fallen. Maybe one day someone will return to place it upright again.
Kilkenny landscape photography by : Nigel Borrington
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 (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”.