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“Desperately in need of some care”
Review of Kells Priory

Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Stotfold, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
394 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
“Desperately in need of some care”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

This stunning and important site is so poorly cared for that it pains me to visit. OK, so it is free to visit and the car park is free too but what a waste! Despite a number of steel gates, the towers seem to be being vandalised ... the locks on some of the gates have been broken and pieces of masonry gouged out to enable climbing into the towers.

The information on site is limited to a single old board near the car park. There are some areas with scaffolding and a couple of huts but no real attempt at conservation. It is such a shame. There is so much potential for this site.

The actual site is huge and stunning but, at the moment, it only ranks a 'poor' rating in my book.

Visited May 2014
Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio area
Level Contributor
64 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“One of Ireland's Best Kept Secrets”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I visited Kells Priory ruins today (my 3rd time) with my 17 and 20 year old daughters. We are from the USA and think this is one of Ireland's best kept secrets. My daughters enjoyed it much more than the beautifully restored Kilkenny Castle.

It is about 6 or 7 miles from Kilkenny. The Irish lady at the front desk of our Kilkenny hotel had not heard about it and had to ask another staffer to help us with directions.

I told my daughters to enjoy it because one day, when they are older, and this fantastic site gets more popular, the bureaucrats will come in and start charging you to enter these wonderful ruins.

On the advice of some locals, we also visited a nearby old 6th century ruins of a church with a beautiful tower still standing. As you come out of the Prior parking lot, don't turn right or left - just go straight and that round tower is only a mile or two up the road.

Visited April 2014
5 Thank irishbogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chattanooga, TN
Level Contributor
74 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Step back in time...”
Reviewed 2 April 2014

One almost doesn't want to share Kells Priory, because part of the beauty of it is that there's no one there! There are sheep. We walked through a pasture of them on a dirt path from the parking lot. The ruins are just THERE. No tourists, no cars...one small placque explaining the map of the buildings as they once were. The setting is lovely, and one can walk beyond the Priory to a stream...to two mills (one used by an artist)...to the lovely old bridge leading into the tiny Village of Kells...and back to the parking lot. A lovely and solitary hour or two spent back in time.

Visited September 2013
5 Thank TNGranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
47 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Underappreciated site”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

It's a mystery to me why this site isn't more popular, but at least it meant that it wasn't busy when we visited as the sun was going down in September.
If I'm not mistaken, it's one of the largest religious complexes in Ireland, with a massive wall with numerous towers enclosing an area that must have been filled with numerous wooden buildings in the site's heyday. It would have been a refuge for people living in the surrounding area, as well as a centre of culture and learning.

If you are visiting Kilkenny, or just driving past, make a detour and visit this site - you won't be disappointed.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank OilR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland Park, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Beautiful ruin with no guide so make sure to read up before you go, but it was worth every moment. Walking "carefully" among the sheep to get to the ruin was so unique. Loved that we were in the midst of the everyday while going to see a ruin that has been there for hundreds of years! Some of the areas are a little steep so make sure have good shoes on just because it could be slippery depending on the weather.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank dragonhmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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