The Courthouse was built in 1801 on the commission of Lord Headfort. It was designed by the prominent Irish architect, Francis Johnston who also designed the General Post Office, Nelson’s Pillar, Townley Hall and the East Gate entrance to Slane Castle. When first built the downstairs was used as a courthouse and upstairs for entertaining local residents. In more recent years it was a local library.
Today it has a much more modern interior with Interactive multimedia touch screens, with video engages to inspire visitors to the exhibition to explore Kells and the surrounding Boyne Valley. A facsimile copy of the Book of Kells, a replica of the Kells Crozier (an elaborately decorated staff that was a symbol of the office of a bishop or abbot), and the Kells town model are all on view and Boyne Valley Tourism staff are on hand to give advice.
The exhibition is FREE to visit and fully accessible to wheelchair users. Drop in for free brochures, information and a friendly chat.
Also in the Courthouse is the Toradh 2 visual art gallery, which is free to visit and hosts varying exhibitions throughout the year.
Kells Courthouse Opening Hours
- Mon- Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm (closed for lunch 1:30-2:00pm)
- Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm (closed for lunch 1:30-2:00pm)
Walking tours of Kells
Historic Walking Tours of Kells
Kells Walkabout Tours
St. Colmcilles House
St. Colmcilles House is also open for visitors, subject to availability (please contact the Courthouse beforehand to arrange a visit and give 24hrs notice)
The Courthouse Tourism and Cultural Hub is happy to offer a visit to the Centre for both Primary and Secondary Schools.
During the visit we give a talk on Christianity coming to Ireland and how St Colmcille founded the monastery in Kells. The Columban monks are responsible for the world famous Book of Kells and in the Centre we have a facsimile copy with touch screens displaying various pages from the book.
The history of the town of Kells is brought up to modern day and how the town was developed focusing on the family of Lord Headfort.
After the short talk the children are encouraged to look around the Centre before going on a walking tour to see all the historical sites. This includes the grounds of St Colmcille’s Monastery with it’s Round Tour and High Crosses. We finish the tour with a visit to St Colmcille’s House which was once a scriptorium where the Book of Kells was completed.
The tour takes approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes.
If you wish to book a tour email email@example.com or phone 046-9247508.
We look forward to your visit.
Kells Courthouse Tourism and Cultural Hub Headfort Rd Kells, Co. Meath A82 RY62 (located opposite the Market Cross as one enters Kells from the Navan or Slane road)
Kells Courthouse Tourism and Cultural Hub c/o Kells MD Offices Headfort Place Kells, Co. Meath