School: Ceannanus Mór, Scoil na mBráthar

Kells, Co. Meath
An Br. M.L. Ó Séaghdha

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The Castle of Kells (Ceannanas Mór)

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0703, Page 225

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The Castle of Kells was built sometime about the year 1178, by Hugh de Lacy, on whom was bestowed the Kingdom of Meath by the Anglo Norman invaders. The castle appears to have been situated near where the Cross of Kells now stands and it is probable that part of its site was the place now in possession of Mr O'Rourke, one-time the property of the late Mr Jas O'Ferrall, and known as "O'Ferralls Ltd".
There are traces of the ancient castle to be found there, particularly in the cellars underneath, and it appears that part of the old oak beams are still to be seen there.
Other traces have been found of what was probably the courtyard and environs at the back, extending parallel with John St.
It was outside this castle that the Cross of Kells was erected. The exact plan and dimensions of the castle are of course unknown, but very likely it differs little in architecture from the many other Norman edifices of the kind which are to be seen in many parts of Ireland, and especially in the South notably in County Tipperary, where six or seven may be seen in a radius of four miles.
Any approach to Kells from the direction of Dublin by an invader would have to run the gauntlet of attack from the

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Terence Timmons
Farrell Street, Co. Meath
Patrick O Connell