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A walk through 2,000 years of Kells

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A walk through 2,000 years of Kells

From EUR 6.75


Multiple time slots

8 June 2020 - 27 June 2020
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Good for mind and body - A different Perspective 
Daily 3.30pm.  Approx. one hour leisurely tour with time for any questions at the end.
Max. 6 per tour due to Covid Restrictions

Please feel free to wear any protective items you wish. - Masks are available @ 2 Euro (cost price). 

A chance for local people to get some fresh air and exercise on a walk through two thousand years of the incredible history of Kells. People with disabilities are welcome, please message me at The World History of Kells on Facebook if you have any particular requirements. 

Countless long forgotten key episodes in Irish history are brought to life through the stories of the main characters and the many wonderful monuments which still stand today as witnesses to Kells through the ages.

Without venturing beyond the ancient heart of Kells between Carrick Street and Canon Street and Saint Columba's Churchyard,  we'll start with the Iron Age Celtic legends of Queen Maeb, Cú Chulainn and Cormac Mac Airt's Fianna, explaining why Kells was one of the most important strategic and spiritual locations in Ireland long before Colmcille arrived. 

Moving on to the early local Christian saints, including Colmcille of the O'Neills, you'll understand why Kells became known as Kells of the 100 Kings and the Holy Splendour of Ireland by the Tenth Century, and see the very monuments that marked this ascension to power. 

I'll tell you how Columban Kells and its O'Neill High Kings not only fought off attacks from Viking Dublin established by Ivor the Boneless, but also the armed forces of Saint Patrick's followers and their first High King Brian Boru, who himself dishonoured Kells and its famous book. You'll learn why the head saint of the O'Neills became known both as Colmcille and Columba, and how the authority of Columban Kells crumbled while its arch rival Saint Patrick's Armagh began to flourish before the Normans' arrival in 1169; and why it was so easy for the first Norman Lord of Meath, Hugh De Lacy to conquer this once all powerful royal province of the O'Neill High Kings and its capital of Kells. 

From there, I'll take you through life for the ordinary folk in the new walled town of Anglo-Norman Kells on the front-line of the besieged Pale, and the story of those behind the battles, murders and the regular attacks from both native and invader over the centuries that followed; explaining why Kells was top of Henry VIII's and Elizabeth I's "to do list", and how the town and Saint Columba's was singled out by all sides during the Cromwellian Wars just a few decades later. 

Then we'll move on to the last monarchs of Kells, the Taylor dynasty which stretched over ten generations. Looking at their long and ambitious lineage and why they finally ended nearly 500 years of Kells as a siege town; and, through two and a half centuries of unbroken poverty and horror and ultimately revolution, you'll see how they influenced the development of the town we recognise today.

You'll be able to relax and take a seat on occasion as I explain the key dynasties in our story of Kells, the Columbans, the O'Neill High Kings and their Iron Age legendary ancestors, the Medieval De Lacy Lords of Meath and Ulster, and the Georgian Taylors and their new Head Fort here, all of whom played key roles in the amazing history of Ireland. 


Tickets  €6.75 + 82 cent booking fee - apologies - its the only way I can do this during Covid!

 Starting at the 1916 Monument on the Fair Green, we'll get a bird's eye view of pre-Christian Ireland as we make our way from there down Church Lane and into the grounds of Saint Columba's Churchyard. Here I'll take you through the last twelve centuries of Kells since the monastery's foundation in the Ninth Century, right up to the War of Independence - the evidence of the story to be seen all around us.

If weather is poor I will post cancellation notice two hours before tours on The World History of Kells Facebook page. In this case tickets are fully refundable or a new tour date can be provided. Due to the small numbers, tickets are non-refundable unless cancellation is due to bad weather; but tours can be rearranged at no extra cost if you give me 48 hours notice.


Unfortunately, due to current Covid restrictions, the church and Saint Colmcille's House WILL NOT be open; however, I will explain in detail the full history of both from outside. 

Observing full two metre social distancing at all times, and only six people per tour. This is all done at a leisurely pace with any questions you have answered as we go, or at the end, when we'll have time afterwards to discuss particular points of interest in detail. 

If you would like to wear a protective mask and/or gloves, please do so. ***Masks available for 2 Euro (cost price).

The idea of these walks is to give local people and families a chance to get outdoors in a safe environment and take their minds off all that's going on at the moment, and hopefully give some a new interest to pursue. 


As mentioned, people with disabilities are most welcome and I will ensure you get the full story at your own pace and leisure.

If anyone would like to do a family only tour, I'm similarly happy to arrange that later in the afternoons or at some later date as the Covid Phases are passed. I can easily vary the content for children of ten years and over, with plenty of stories on Vikings, kings and knights, battles, damsels in distress and all such manner of exciting and true tales to suit their interests! 

Please message The World History of Kells on Facebook with any queries you have and I'll get back to you asap. 

Note: For all patrons and guide's safety and comfort, right of admission to tours is reserved. 


Kells Fair Green, 1916 Memorial (start point), Kells


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