Kells Priory

Nestled in the picturesque Irish countryside, Kells Priory is a fascinating historical site that is steeped in history and folklore. Located just a short drive from Kilkenny City, Kells Priory is a must-visit destination for anyone with an interest in Irish history and architecture.

Kells Priory was founded in the 12th century and was home to a community of Augustinian monks for over 400 years. Today, the site is open to the public and visitors can explore the impressive ruins of the priory, which include a church, cloister, and living quarters.

One of the most striking features of Kells Priory is the defensive wall that surrounds the site. This impressive structure was built in the 14th century to protect the monks from attacks by marauding bands of outlaws and was a testament to the turbulent times in which the priory was built.

The priory is surrounded by beautiful countryside, making it a popular spot for picnics and walks. Visitors can stroll through the tranquil grounds of the priory, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Tours & Opening Hours

From June 8th to September 3rd, 2023, the site is open from Wednesday to Sunday, between the hours of 09:30 and 17:00. The last guided tour of the day is at 16:00.

Admission is free.

You can check the latest times on Heritage Ireland.

The Headless Horseman

For those with an interest in folklore and mythology, Kells Priory is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts and spirits. According to local legend, the site is home to a headless horseman and a phantom monk, who are said to appear to visitors in the dead of night.

Getting There

Kells Priory is located in County Kilkenny, in the southeast of Ireland. If you’re traveling from Dublin, the easiest way to get there is by car, and the journey takes around 2 hours. From Dublin, take the M7 motorway towards Portlaoise, then take the M8 motorway towards Cork. Take the exit for Urlingford and follow the signs to Kells.

If you’re not renting a car, you can take a train from Dublin Heuston Station to Kilkenny City, which takes around 2 hours. From Kilkenny, you can take a taxi or a bus to Kells Priory, which is located around 15 km west of Kilkenny City. Another option is to take a bus from Dublin Busaras Station to Kilkenny City, which takes around 2.5 hours, and then take a taxi or bus to Kells.

If you’re already in the southeast of Ireland, you can also reach Kells Priory by bus or car from other nearby towns such as Waterford or Clonmel. It’s important to note that the priory is located in a rural area, and public transportation options may be limited. Therefore, it’s recommended to check bus schedules or arrange for a taxi in advance.

Once you arrive at Kells Priory, you’ll be greeted by a stunning medieval site, with impressive ruins of a fortified priory and a round tower. The priory is located in a picturesque rural area, and the surrounding countryside is perfect for scenic walks and hikes.

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