Kells in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland — Mid-East (and Dublin)
St Columba's Church
Kells Heritage Trail
Diarmuld MacCarroll, High King of Tara, is said to have granted the dun of Cenannus to St Columcille in the 6th century for the purpose of establishing a monastery. This may explain why in 804 the Columban community on the island of Iona (Hebrides), then the principal Columban monastery, moved to Kells to escape the reaches of Norse raiding parties. St Columba's church stands on the site of the original Columban monastery. It became a cathedral church 1152 when the diocese of Kells was established, and a parish church in 1211 when dioceses of Kells and Meath amalgamated. The church houses a facsimile of the Book of Kells and an exhibition on the history of the site.
Hugh Brady, Anglican Bishop of Meath, rebuilt the church including the present bell tower in 1578. An inscription on the tower commemorates this event. Another inscription of the same date is found on the west side of the tower.
In 1655 the church, in a state of ruins, was used by Cromwell's army as a horse barracks. The present church was built in 1778 by Thomas Taylor, First Earl of Bective, at a cost of £2,121. He also added the entrance gates and the spire to the bell tower in 1783. Both church and spire were designed by Thomas Cooley, who also designed Dublin's City Hall. The stone mason was John Walsh.
Four of the high crosses
Erected by Meath Tourism.
Location. 53° 43.647′ N, 6° 52.72′ W. Marker is in Kells, Leinster, in County Meath. Marker is at the intersection of Church Street and Market Street, on the left when traveling north on Church Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the right gate column at the east entrance to St Columba's Church grounds.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Churchyard Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); Suffolk Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Catherine Dempsey (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Kells Round Tower (about 150 meters away); Headfort Place (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Kells Courthouse (approx. half a kilometer away); Market Cross (approx. half a kilometer away); Spire of Loyd (approx. 1.8 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kells.
Also see . . . Kells Heritage Trail. (Submitted on January 14, 2010.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Churches, Etc. • Landmarks • Man-Made Features • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • Wars, Non-US •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2010. This page has been viewed 1,271 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on January 14, 2010.