Book of Kells at Drury Court
What is it?
The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s national treasures and a top tourist attraction, with over 1 million visitors each year.
The book contains the 4 Gospels in Latin, beautifully illustrated on calf skin vellum, as well as summaries & canon tables
When was it written?
Historians think it was written around 800 A.D., making it over 1,200 years old.
It is believed that the original book was probably begun at a monastery in Iona and finished at Kells, Co. Meath. There is some mystery around how the book survived a 9th Century raid of Kells Abbey- with theories suggesting that the book was buried and re-discovered in the 11th Century. This raid probably accounts for some of the torn vellum pages at the start of the book.
What was it for?
From the artwork and materials used in its production, it is clear this book was intended only for display – it was originally housed in the inner sanctum of Iona Abbey, a small island off the coast of Scotland
Where is the original?
Around 1653, the Book of Kells was sent to Trinity College Dublin (Ireland’s oldest university) for safekeeping. It has been on display since the 19th century in the Long Room @ Trinity College: displaying just 1 page per day at a time
Replica @ Drury Court
In 1990 a Swiss company used pioneering suction technology to photograph the original book in its entirety without damage- allowing them to reproduce more than had ever been possible. We are very proud to have this rare & beautiful facsimile onsite @ Drury Court & are happy to share this experience with guests. No need to queue and no need to limit yourself to just 1 page at a time!
Please ask at reception during your stay for more details: our friendly front desk team will be happy to provide you with gloves, allowing you to get up close to this impressive artefact.