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Living in Kells: The Local Area Guide

Situated near to the large town of Ballymena in County Antrim, Kells is a village full of history, with a Christian settlement taking place here as early as 480AD before developing into a Monastery in 500AD. The area is often referred to as Kells and Connor, with the neighbouring village of Connor sharing a range of institutions with Kells. A small river flows through the village, with an old stone bridge acting as the division between Kells and Connor.

Archaeological material and written sources lead to the belief that Kells and Connor was a vast settlement in the Early Christian period. It is presumed that monastic and secular societies co-habited alongside one another. On the 9th of September 1315, a momentous battle between the invading army of Edward Bruce (younger brother of Robert the Bruce and Richard Óg de Burgh) resulted in defeat for the Anglo-Normans by the Scots. Following this defeat, the army of Connor was sacked. An Augustinian community was established in Kells during the Middle Ages. The Augustinian Abbey survived up until the early 17th century before it was burnt down.


At the time of the most recent 2011 census it was recorded that Kells and Connor had a population of 2053 people, with a total of 808 households. Within its constituency of North Antrim, Kells is among the wards with the lowest unemployment benefit claims at just 2.8%. Non-coincidentally, Kells also has one of the highest proportions of people aged 16 and over in higher education compared with other wards in North Antrim.

Kells is a safe place to live, as it has one of the lowest crime rates in North Antrim. As is the case with the majority of Northern Ireland, Kells is mostly a Christian society, with a higher rate of Protestants than Catholics. North Antrim as a constituency have generally good health, and people who live there tend to be healthier in comparison to the rest of Northern Ireland.


Kells is fortunate enough to have a selection of schools to choose from in the local vicinity. Within the village itself is the local primary school, Kells and Connor Primary. In their most recent inspection, they were awarded with a ‘Very Good’ commendation for their achievements and standards. An alternative choice would be Carnaghts Primary School which received a ‘Very Good’ rating from their 2013 inspection. The school is just a 5-minute drive from the centre of Kells.

A short 10-minute drive into Ballymena will allow you to view the selection of secondary schools open to prospective students that Kells and Connor has to offer. St Louis Grammar School offers fantastic facilities for both learning, sport and extra-curricular activities which is perfect for your child’s development. Ballymena Academy, also close-by, offers excellent pastoral care for its students.


Travel links are scarce in the village of Kells and Connor, however the short journey to Ballymena will provide residents with bus transport to a plethora of local towns and villages. From Ballymena you can enjoy a 50-minute train journey or a 1-hour bus journey into Belfast accompanied by beautiful scenery. By car, the journey into Ballymena takes a mere 10 minutes and to visit Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital city, will only take around 30-minutes drive.

Amenities and Shopping

The lack of immediate transport in Kells is amended by the range of convenient and unique shops in the village. In Kells you will find a value supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy and service station, and for the cold nights, a hot tub store. For a wider range of high street stores and brands, Ballymena has a choice of two shopping centres.

The Carrie Restaurant in Kells is a much recommended spot for a meal out, and although it has no alcohol license, they allow you to take your own! For more exuberant nights out, Ballymena offers a range of pubs, bars and eateries.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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