St. John’s CemeteryTourism Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
The cemetery is the remnant of the Priory or hospital of the Order of Friars of St John of Jerusalem, or the Hospitallers of Saint John. This Military Order was founded in Italy in 1113 to protect pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem. The Kells Priory was founded by Walter DeLacy (son of Hugh DeLacy) in 1199. The Order was very English in outlook and did not greatly prosper in Ireland, “no Knight shall be professed unless he be of English blood”. The last Prior was forced to surrender the Priory with all its property to the commissioners of Henry the Eight in 1539. A medieval grave slab in the graveyard, depicts an Abbess with a tau stick in her right hand,and a linen wimple.
Courtesy of Aidan Wall
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