Kells Roman Catholic Church
Headfort Place, Kells
This church was designed by W.H. Byrne and Son in 1958 and is a twentieth century addition to the predominantly eighteenth- and nineteenth-century streetscape. The architectural form is enhanced by the variety of materials utilised in its construction. The rock faced limestone, concrete banding, and roughcast rendered walls contrast and add textural interest to the site.
Sunday: 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:15pm
Monday – Friday: 9:30am
Saturday: 10:00am, Vigil 6:30pm
Holy Days - Vigil: 6:30pm; Holyday: 9:00am, 12:15pm
Church of Ireland
Church Street, Kells
The land on which this church stands is one of County Meath’s most important ecclesiastical sites.
The church marks the location of the town’s original monastery, established in the early middle ages after the High King of Ireland gave Columba the fort of Kells to set up a religious community. It became the principal Columban monastery in Ireland, but in 918, it was plundered and the church destroyed.
Following the Synod of Kells in 1152, Kells was granted Diocesan status and the old Church was elevated to the status of a Cathedral for the Diocese.
The Bishop of Kells is listed in the Irish bishopries list compiled at the time of Pope Eugenius III (1143 – 1153). It is recorded that Bishop Thaddeus of Kells paid homage to King Henry II in 1172 at Cashel. There are no bishops mentioned after 1211 and soon afterwards the diocese was absorbed into the newly created diocese of Meath by Bishop Simon Rochford.
During the Reformation, Henry VIII became the supreme head of the church and loyalty was to him and not the Pope. The old monasteries were dissolved and their estates taken from them by the Crown.
The current gable-fronted church was built in 1778, and apparently designed by Thomas Cooley, and has undergone alterations in 1811, 1858 and 1965. It was in the latter alterations that the Celtic exhibition was created in the gallery and a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells was presented to the parish.
There are many fine furnishings in the building, from the oak roof to the pews with carved fleur-de-lis finials. There are 2 fonts in the church and a third in the graveyard.
There are two pieces of stone set into the front of the choir stalls which were brought from Iona in 1963, and the embroidered banner, also in the choir, was made in 1963 as part of the 1400th anniversary celebrations of Columba’s sailing to Iona.
A wall monument made of limestone and Kilkenny marble in the form of a casket was erected in 1736 in memory of the Right Ho. Sirt Thomas Taylor and his wife, Ann, Lady Taylor. The stained glass windows were made by the renowned London firm, Heaton, Butler & Bayne, c1920.
On site there remains a square bell tower of a previous medieval church, on top of which the Earl of Bective erected a spire in 1783.
Sunday 11:30 a.m.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Sunday: 10:00, 11:15 (alternate Sundays)
St. Ciarán's Catholic Church,
Eve of Sunday Vigil Mass: 20:00
Sunday: 10:00, 11:15 (alternate Sundays)
Holydays: 10:00, 20:00
Moynalty Catholic Church
This detached T-plan gable-fronted Roman Catholic church was built in 1819 with a mass rock located to the north.
This church forms part of an interesting group of Roman Catholic buildings on the outskirts of the village, with the parochial house, belfry, and twentieth century National school. This simple T-plan church is enhanced by the limestone dressings.
A church at Moynalty is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 260). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682 5) the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Moynalty had been out of repair since 1641, although it was enclosed (Ellison 1973, 8). The site of the medieval parish church is probably on the site of the present Church of Ireland church of St. Mary, which was built in 1819 (Lewis 1837, vol. 2, 404 05) but which has since been de-consecrated. Its 19th century font is now at St Columba's Church of Ireland church in Kells.
Eve of Sunday Vigil Mass: 20:15
Sunday: 08:30, 11:15
Holydays: 08:30, 20:00