Towns of Meath
Kells —County Meath
This unassuming town, north-west of Navan, is where the famous Book of Kells was written. The town, established by St Colmcille in the 6th century, was once one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in Ireland and the many High Crosses dating from as early as the 9th century still bear witness to the fact. Nearby Carnbane, Castlekeeran and Loughcrew feature a host of Stone Age Cairns, medieval High Crosses and the 18th-century Hill of Lloyd tower. Kells Heritage Centre gives an excellent interpretation of the culture of monastic Ireland and entices the visitor to explore the various sites of interest throughout Kells. Visitors to the area can see the surviving Round Tower, St. Columcille's House, and the scriptural Celtic crosses, all reminders of the famous monastic city founded here by Columcille (later to found the famous monastery at Iona) in 559 A.D. Of particular fame are the Celtic crosses which stand, as they have done for over 1,200 years at the entrances of the monastery, proudly displaying the skills and craftsmanship that makes them amongst the finest examples ever discovered.