Kells Priory and Knockroe passage tomb

Kells Priory

Kells Priory locally known as the “Seven Castles” is situated alongside the Kings river just outside the village of Kells. This Augustine priory is one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland and only about 15 km from the medieval city of Kilkenny.  One of its most striking feature is a collection of medieval tower houses all within the enclose of the site which is just over 3 acres. These gives off the appearance of a fortress than a place of worship 

Kilree High Cross and Round Tower

Kilree Round Tower and High Cross are just three kilometers from Kells priory and is well wort the visit. The round tower stands at 29 meters high. It has 7 windows and a molded framing doorway almost 2 meters above the ground. The cap of the tower is gone but battlements remain.

The monastery at Kilree was supposedly founded in the 6th century by Saint Rhuidche but no one knows excatly when the monastery was actually founded. 

Niall Caille a high king of Ieland is believed to have drowned in Kings River and Some local histories claim he was buried under the high cross at Kilree which was erected in the 8th/9th Century. It is 2.75 meters high and badly weathered.The east face has a hunting scene. The west face depicts the Adoration of the Magi and Daniel in the lions den.

Knockroe Passage Tomb

The tomb known locally as ‘The Caiseal’ has two passages on the southern side. The eastern passage, has a cruciform chamber with a sill stone towards the front of the passage and very large kerbstones on the southern side arcing around to the western passage which has an alignment to the winter solstice. The passage has decorated stones forming the chamber which resemble designs at Gavrinis in brittany France. 

Royal Oak Distillery

Located in Ireland’s ancient east region, Royal Oak Distillery is one of the largest independent manual whiskey distilleries in the country and the first to be developed in Carlow in over 200 years and is the only independent distillery in the world to produce all three types of Irish whiskey in one still house, namely – pot still, malt and grain.