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    Kells Priory is one of the largest and also one of the most magnificent medieval historic monuments in Ireland. It is a National Monument and is in the guardianship of the Commissioners of Public Works. The priory is scenically situated alongside King's River, about fifteen kilometres south of the medieval city of Kilkenny (Fig 1c). Its most striking feature is a collection of medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of just over three acres (Fig 8). These give the priory the appearance more of a fortress than of a place of worship and from them comes its local name of "Seven Castles".   The priory is divided into two parts, an inner monastic Precinct alongside the river and a large outer enclosure to the south. The fifteenth century the latter was referred to as Villa Prioris but in more recent times it has been known as Burgher's Court, the Burgess or Burgess Court. Burgess Court is adopted here because it best reflects the purpose for which it was constructed. In the past Burgess Court was though to have been the site of the medieval borough of Kell but modern reseach has shown that this was not the case. Today all the monastic remains are grouped together in the Precinct while Burgess Court is little more than a walled field populated by tourists and sheep. (c) Daniel Tietzsch-Tyler