Kells Priory, Kilkenny

#17 of 113 in Things to do in County Kilkenny
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Kells Priory (Irish: Prióireacht Cheanannais) 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 in the townland of Rathduff (Madden), 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 features 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. It was used in the film Barry Lyndon as the location for the English Redcoat encampment.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
222 reviews
  • An amazing site with such rich history. We walked around the ruins and spent time considering each and every part of this fabulous structure but the real beauty is to be seen from afar. If you take...  more »
  • Having spent a wonderful hour or so yesterday at Kells Priory, I cannot help but marvel at the place and scratch my head as to why it is not better known or more visited. The scale of it is...  more »
  • Truly beautiful and nostalgic, and so quiet and peaceful. A wonderful piece of history.
  • Very impressive. Didn't download the app guide . Would have liked to see more information signage around the site.

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