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Towns in Co Meath.



The town of Kells is famous for the monastic settlement founded there in 798 by Saint Columba (Saint Columcille) and the Book of Kells, brought to the monastery from Iona in the Scottish western Isles to protect it from raiding Vikings, The Book of Kells is now on display in Trinity College Dublin.

The remains of the monastery, including a substantial round tower is perched almost on top of one of the higher hills in Co Meath, with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Considering that many other hills in Meath less imposing than that at Kells were utilized in the pre-Christian Druidic culture, therefore it would seem highly likely that the monastery at Kells now occupies what was once a centre early Celtic worship.

Situated close to the monastery is Saint Columcille 's House (pictured above) which is said to have been built in the 10th century to house the relics of Saint Columcille, famed for founding the Monastery on Iona (Western Scottish Isles) and his dispute with Saint Finnian over a pilaster, probably the first copyright dispute in Ireland which led ultimately to The Battle of Culdemmena (The Battle of the Books). Saint Columcille 's House is built in the style of an oratory of the period, rectangular in shape the roof is barrel vaulted with three small chambers in the roof space. The building once housed a relic known as Saint Columcille 's bed this was a stone six foot long and one foot thick, which was stolen some some in the 20th century.

Local legends tell of an underground passage between Saint Columcille 's House and Saint Columba's Church, this is supported by both The Annals of the Four Masters and the Down Survey carried out in the 17th century. The wall surrounding Saint Columcille 's House was built in 1836.

In 1076 Murrough MacFlann, claimant to the high kingship was murdered in the round tower of Kells Monastery.

Go to towns in County Meath