Kells, County Antrim
Kells is a village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 in County Antrim
County Antrim
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,844 km², with a population of approximately 616,000...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, near Ballymena
Ballymena is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and the seat of Ballymena Borough Council. Ballymena had a population of 28,717 people in the 2001 Census....

. The area encompasses Kells and the village of Connor which are very close together and have a joint primary school, library, development association etc. It had a population of 1,745 people in the 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

. It is within the Borough of Ballymena.

An old stone bridge crosses the Kells Water
Kells Water
The Kells Water is a small river in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It flows through Moorfields and Kells and is a tributary to the River Main. The river rises above Glenwherry. It is a continuation of the Glenwhirry River and eventually joins the Main, which in turn flows into Lough Neagh. The...

, separating Kells from the adjacent village of Connor.


There is much evidence, from written sources and archaeological material, that Connor  was a sizeable, complex settlement in the Early Christian period, probably with monastic and secular elements coexisting. There was no monastic establishment at Connor in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, though there was an Augustinian
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

 community at Kells nearby. This Augustinian Abbey in the village was once the cathedral of the old diocese of Connor and Kells. Only one wall remains of the Abbey and this now stands in the middle of a textile factory.


  • Kells was formerly served by the Ballymena and Larne Railway
    Ballymena and Larne Railway
    The Ballymena and Larne Railway was a narrow gauge railway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The first part opened in July 1877 and regular passenger services began in August 1878, the first on the three foot Irish narrow gauge...

    , a narrow gauge railway. The railway station opened on 24 August 1878, closed for passenger traffic on 31 January 1933 and finally closed altogether on 3 June 1940.

2001 Census

Kells/Connor is classified as a Village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,745 people living in Kells/Connor. Of these:
  • 25.0% were aged under 16 years and 14.7% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.4% of the population were male and 51.6% were female
  • 1.3% were from a Catholic
    The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

     background and 94.7% were from a Protestant
    Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

  • 2.9% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

See also

  • List of villages in Northern Ireland
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