The Essential
Attractive market town in the valley of the River Blackwater, Kells owes its fame to the old abbey. The Book of Kells, a famous illuminated biblical manuscript that was stolen in 1007 then found two months later without its gold ornament, is today kept at Trinity College library in Dublin. It was created in the 8C by the monks. In 807 the abbey, founded in the 6C by Saint Columba, harboured monks who were fleeing the Viking attacks on Iona.