Exploring Kells – its Round Tower and Secret Tunnel

October 2, 2017

A Viking invasion in 554 AD caused the Iona Island’s Columbun monks to flee to the safe-haven of Kells, in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, in Ireland. The High King, Diarmuid Mac Caroll of Tara, granted them the land and since then, the site 60 kilometres north of Dublin has become one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland.

View up Suffolk Street, Kells, to the monastic site in Cannon Street.

The monastic area in Cannon Street, Kells, is defined by the stone wall, round tower and church.

The Church of Ireland church was built in 1778 on the monastic site, Kells.

The Kells 10th century Round Tower is 90 feet/25 metres high. It has no roof but 5 windows overseeing the junction of 5 roads.

The Kells Round Tower and the
unfinished 9th century Celtic cross.

High Cross in the Kells monastic graveyard site.

Named the West Cross, this gravesite monument has scenes from the Old and New Testaments on it.

Current front view of St Columcille’s/St Columbus’s House, dating from the 9th century.

A back view of St Columbus’s 3 storied stone house with a sloping roof, typical of the 9th century.

The ancient entrance at the back of the house. Local records state there is a tunnel connecting St Columbus’s house to the church.