southeast Ireland | County Kilkenny
The Augustine priory, located in the village of Kells in County Kilkenny is a unique example of a fortified monastery, combining elements of both religious and military medieval architecture. It was founded by Norman knight, Geoffrey Fitzrobert (a brother-in-law to Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow) in c.1193 but most of the existing buildings date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The monastic complex is situated on the banks of King's River and is enclosed by a defensive wall with five towers built into it, which makes it to look rather like a castle than a monastery. Inside the enclosure, there are remains of churches, a cloister garth, a kitchen, an infirmary, a water mill and two tower houses. Due to its prosperity and wealth, the Kells priory was the target of many attacks, including burning down in 1327. The monastery prospered until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry the VIII in the 1540s.
- OPENING HOURS AND TICKETS :
- Freely accessible
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