Kells is a lovely town in Co. Meath, best known for Kells Abbey, from which the Book of Kells takes its name. The monastery was founded around 800AD by monks from the island of Iona on Scotland’s west coast, fleeing from Viking raids. They brought the book with them for its protection.
There are several places I recommend in Kells. The traditional town centre is small and easy to get around on foot.
Firstly, the Old Court House & Heritage centre has an interesting display, along with a gallery space. The staff also run a tourist information service. The nearby Headfort Arms Hotel has a facsimile copy of the Book of Kells, on display in their reception area.
The Monastic site includes the Kells round tower, along with four large Celtic crosses. This is a very important site, historically, culturally, and energetically.
Not far away is the Oratory, or St. Colmcille’s House ( Colmcille being the Irish spelling of St Columba). This is normally locked but access can be obtained by finding the keyholder. The building is remarkable, dating from the 10th century. It is incredible to think of the monks working here, in the cold draught and terrible illumination provided by the small opening, along with flickering candlelight or oil lamps.
There is also a Holy Well located behind a modern housing estate near the edge of town.