Kells

If you are on tours of Ireland you will hear the name of Kells in various stories.

The town of Kells in County Meath , not far from Newgrange , is best known for the “Book of Kells”.

This book is arguably the finest example of medieval illuminated manuscripts anywher in the world. It is currently kept at Trinity College , Dublin ….. where a new page is turned each day for visitors to view.

The Book once belonged to , and may well have actually been written at the monastery which once flourished there. The monastery came into being when monks were chased out of Saint Columba’s foundation on the island of Iona by Viking invaders in the 9th century. Iona is an island off the West coast of Scotland.

Kells is distinguished by its collection of the distinctive High , or Celtic , crosses. Four stand in the town and are regarded by many as the finest collection of these uniquely Irish Celtic monuments to be found in Ireland.

The village’s round tower was the scene of the assassination of “Murchadh Mac Flainn. He was the High King of Ireland and was killed in 1076.

The monastery was sacked and burned by vikings throughout the the first millenium. Attacks were recorded in 919 AD , 950 AD , 969 AD.

To add further insult to injury the monastery was also set alight twice by Normans in the 12th century.

Another well known monument at Kells is ” Saint Columba’s House ” , a church built by the monks returning from Iona about 805 AD.

So if you are on any Ireland tours …. dont miss this wee town …. its a true hidden gem.

There is also a village in the North of Ireland called Kells. Its just outside Ballymena.