Head and Wimple

St John's Cemetery

St John's cemetery is located on the site of Kells Priory Hospital. Founded by Walter De Lacy in 1199 CE, the Hospital of St. John the Baptist was a house of the Fratres Cruciferi or Crutched Friars. In the northwest corner of the graveyard is a crudely carved effigy of a woman wearing a long cloak and a wimple (Pillbox hat). She is carrying a Tau shaped walking stick and wearing pointed shoes. She is known locally as 'the Abbess'. About half-way between the graveyard entrance and the effigial tomb is an early cross slab. The sandstone slab bears an incised ringed cross. Hidden behind a shub in the southeast corner is a medieval grave stone bearing a crude incised cross within a circle. I will definitely return to this site.

Early Cross slab

Medieval Grave stone

Situated: The cemetery is situated on the north side of the R163 on the east side of the town, opposite the Kells Market Cross.

Discovery Map 42: N 7440 7584. Last visit Apr 2017.

Longitude: 6° 52' 21" W

Latitude: 53° 43' 37" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey