Kells

Kells is a town in County Meath, Ireland.


Get around

It is possible to enjoy all of Kells' sights on-foot. For visits to local out-lying villages and historical sights you may need to reserve a taxi. Any bar or restaurant should be able to do this for you. (NOTE: Kells does not have a taxi rank and all hackney cabs must be pre-booked)

See

Book of Kells

The Abbey of Kells, with its round tower, is associated with St Columba (also called St Colmcille) and with the Book of Kells, now kept at Trinity College Dublin. The round tower and five large Celtic crosses can still be viewed today. Four of the crosses are in the churchyard of St Columba's church. The other Celtic cross was positioned in the middle of a busy crossroads until an unfortunate accident involving a cumbersome school bus. It now stands in front of a former courthouse, now a museum and coffee shop. A roof protects the cross from the elements. Curiously, a replica is completely safe from the elements inside the museum.

Close by the graveyard of St. Columba's church stands a small stone roofed Oratory, St. Colmcille's House. This probably dates from the 11th century. Access to the monks' sleeping accommodation aloft is by ladder. This small rectangular building is positioned at one of the highest points in the town. The Oratory is kept locked, but visitor access can be easily arranged.

Just outside the town on the road to Oldcastle, stands the Tower of Lloyd. This interesting towering building is an 18th century folly in the form of a giant Doric column, surmounted by glazed lantern, erected to the memory of Sir Thomas Taylor, 1st Earl of Bective, by his son. The tower is around 30 m (100 ft) high. From the top one can see magnificent views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Mourne mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland on a clear day. The tower was used to view horse racing and the hunt in the nineteenth century. The area around the tower has been developed as a community park (The People's Park), and includes the Paupers' Grave. This cemetery was a necessity in the times of great poverty in the country. Mass is still celebrated there annually and the cemetery is a grim reminder of the Workhouse and extreme poverty engendered by changes in farming practice in the 19th century and the Famine.

Eat

For Irish pub style lunch and dinners try The Railway Bar at the end of Bective street (N52 junction to Mullingar) or The Round Tower bar and lounge on Farrell St.

For European style cuisine try the Cross Street Bistro on Cross St., The Vanilla Pod at the Headfort Arms Hotel or The Ground Floor on Bective Sq.

Drink

Most Lively pubs include The Blackwater, Arches, Muldoons and Kiernans. Live Nightclub is a modern club open every Saturday night.

Go next

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