The first real step in exploiting the tourism potential of Kells Priory have been taken.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) will begin daily tours of the largest monastic settlement in Ireland within the next few weeks.
It follows a recent visit to the magnificent site a month ago by Kilkenny County Council members and a commitment made their by new by the new council chief executive, Colette Byrne.
Staff training is being undertaken at the moment and within a few weeks visitors will be able to enjoy tours, with very well informed guides thanks to the OPW.
Tours will be available throughout the day from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
For further information or to make a group booking contact 087-0675783, call Jerpoint Abbey on 056 7724623 or leave a message on the Jerpoint Abbey Facebook page.
Sitting on a site of approximately 3.6 acres, Kells priory is divided in two parts – the nearest to the car park is the Burgess Court, a large open space with four defensive towers along its enclosing walls. These towers led to the site being commonly known as “the Castles”.
The second part, a cluster of the earlier monastic buildings lies between the Burgess Court and the River. The location by the river was likely chosen because the river was a route for transport of people and goods, but also because the supply of fish was important for the monks. It was a natural barrier to ensure the privacy of the monks.
To enter the site, leave the car park and head down the hill to the Priory. Be mindful of the steep slope as you descend close to the entrance gate.