Colmcille – Connecting Ancient Text and Modern lettering (Heritage Week 2023) | Discover Boyne Valley Meath, Ireland

Colmcille – Connecting Ancient Text and Modern lettering (Heritage Week 2023)

Sunday, August 13th  8.00-10.00pm
Meeting at Church of Ireland Gates, Church Street @ 8.00pm

The ancient site of Kells Monastery was granted to Colmcille by High King Diarmaid Mc Carroll in the mid 6th century. When the followers of Colmcille established a monastery on the site in succeeding centuries it soon became a powerhouse of art and learning, specialising in metalwork, stonework and manuscript writing. The pinnacle of this artistic period was reached in the gospel manuscript The Book of Kells, which established the Irish monks as some of the greatest scribes and painters of books in the world.  

For Heritage week this year Kells will highlight, not only our heritage text and tradition, but also our new tradition of celebrating modern lettering as an art form in the annual Type Trail. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Type Trail- Connect – we will draw together these two strands, the medieval and the contemporary, in a dedicated guided walking tour.
The tour will begin by taking in a selection of the Type Trail exhibits which are installed in various shop windows in the town. Each installation is an artistic interpretation of the word ‘CONNECT’.  As we move through Kells ancient streetscape, culminating in a visit to St. Colmcille’s house - often considered the Scriptorium where the Book of Kells was completed  - we will experience a deeper and meaningful understanding of these two traditions. 

St Colmcille’s House will be illuminated outside with the image of Colmcille the Scribe, one of the Heritage Council award winning installations. You will learn how the Irish style of writing developed from Colmcille/Columba’s time as we compare the Cathach, a 6th century manuscript, thought to have been written by St Colmcille himself, to later manuscripts such as the Book of Kells completed by Columban monks in the 9th century. Inside the ancient oratory will be lit by candlelight, as in Medieval time, for the occasion. 

Entry is Free. The event is funded by Meath Co. Co. Community Heritage Grant Scheme.

Heritage Week Colmcille poster 2023


Meeting at Church of Ireland Gates,

Church Street.


Sun, Aug 13 2023, 8 - 10pm
GPS: 53.727516675441, -6.878380481797007