Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland

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A monastery was founded at Kells in c.ad 804 as a refuge for Columban monks from Iona, which had been attacked by the Vikings two years earlier. They brought with them a lavishly ornamented book which later become known as the Book of Kells. It is one of the earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts in Europe and contains gospels, prefaces, summaries, and concordances, and a large portion referring to 11th‐century legal documents relating to the abbey of Kells. It is written on vellum. In ad 1152 the monastery was made a bishopric, but the community did not survive the Middle Ages, and all that remains of the monastery is a round tower more than 30 m high. The Book of Kells is now in Trinity College, Dublin.


L. Judge, 1993, The story of Kells. Kells: Kells Publishing Company

Subjects: Archaeology.

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