St. Colmcille's House

St. Colmcille's House

A medieval gem in the town of Kells.

St Colmcille's House

In 550 St. Colmcille, also known as Columba, established a religious settlement at Kells. In 563 he went into self imposed exile of the Isle of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland and founded another settlement. The island was raided by Viking fleets in 795, 802 and again in 804 when sixty-eight people were killed. Shortly after, the community of St. Columba`s monastery on Iona were granted lands at Kells as a safe haven from invaders.

Generally, monastic settlements were surrounded by a circular boundary wall called a vallum, which acted as a frontier between the holy world within and the secular world outside. They often contained a church, graveyard, high crosses, monk`s cells and from the late 10th century round towers also became a feature.

St Colmcille's House probably dates from the early 10th century and is characteristic of an oratory (a private chapel) from that period.  



St. Colmcille's House is open for visitors upon request (please contact the Kells Courthouse Tourism and Cultural Hub beforehand to arrange a visit, and give 24hrs notice).