Kilree Monastic Site, Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilree Monastic site is only a short three kilometre drive from the magnificent Kells Priory which it predates by a few hundred years. According to folklore the site dates back to the 6th century and was dedicated to St Rhuidche. We also know that the site came to be in the possession of Kells Priory by 1340AD. The beautiful 29 metre round tower that looms over the entire site is now capless, however the top of the tower does appear to be battlemented. A framed doorway stands 2 metres above the ground. Most Round Towers in Ireland date from 950AD-1100AD so we can surmise that it was built earlier than the church that stands to its south. This medieval period church was built on the ruins of a previous structure and is buttressed on its western wall. There is a High Cross nearby which sadly on the day I visited I was unaware of, it is believed that the Northern O’Neill High King, Niall Caille is buried underneath the cross, as he drowned in the nearby Kings River in 844AD. This is a very beautiful and peaceful place, I will return.

GPS: 52.51878, -7.26985


8 thoughts on “Kilree Monastic Site, Kilkenny, Ireland

  1. What a great find Ed, some nice shots you got on the day. Love the history behind it. I take it that there is no access to the Tower? I will have to add this to my never ending list of places to explore, 🙂

      • Oh I can totally believe it. I started my map almost a year ago, it just keeps on getting bigger every week. And that’s just sites that are in striking distance from my home in Kildare. I’m almost afraid of what is to be found along the west coast. I believe that’s were the majority of Neolithic sites are located?

        I remember when starting to visit sites of interest I was thinking that I would run out of places after a year or two, LOL not Likely 🙂

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