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Background image Old Mellifont Abbey

Ecclesiastical Sites.

in County Louth.

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St. Peter's (C of I) Church.

This fine neoclassical rectangular church was built in 1753 on the site of a former church burnt by Cromwell's soldiers. The west tower and spire were added in in the late eighteenth century by Francis Johnston.

The galleries on three sides are supported on Corinthian pillars, with a shallow chancel and wall monuments lining the sides. The beautiful stain glass east window was added in the nineteenth century.

Tourist Information
Jocelyn Street
Co Louth
Tel +353 (0)4293 35484
Fax +353 (0)4293 38070
E Mail
Web Site

At one corner of the churchyard is a medieval tomb representing decaying bodies.





Old Mellifont Abbey.

Mellifont has the distinction of being the first Cistercian Abbey to be established in Ireland, it was founded by St Malachy of Armagh in 1142 on land granted by Donogh O'Carroll, king of Oriel. Little remains of the original buildings. Visitors today leaving the site office cross through the north transept of the church, of which only lower portions of the walls and piers survive. These are mostly the remains of thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth century rebuilding.

The most substantial of the claustral remains at the south of the church is the chapter house which displays fine groined vaulting. Nothing remains of the west range save the foundation stones, as is true of the south range. Nearby are portions of the arcade that once surrounded the central yard of the cloister. Near the car park is the substantial ruin of the monastic gatehouse.

It was in Mellifont that Dervorgilla wife of Tiernan O'Rourke spent her final years and died in 1199.

The monastery was dissolved in 1539, Sir William Brabazon became the owner of the property, eventually it went to Sir Edward Moore who built on the site the house in which the Earl of Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill and Lord Mountjoy signed the Treaty of Mellifont, ending the nine year war.

Co Louth
Tel +353 (0) 41 9826 6459
E Mail
Web Site

Old Mellifont Abbey.

In the visitors centre is a display on the stonemasons craft in the Middle Ages, with many examples of their work.
Open May to October.
Admission Free.



Magdalene Tower.

This is a fifteenth century belfry tower added to the Dominican Friary founded here in 1224 by Archbishop Luke Netterville, it was the first house of this order in Ireland.

Upper Magdalene Street
Co Louth
Tel +353 (0)
E Mail
Web Site





(Mainistir Bhuithe)

This monastery now in ruin was founded in the late 5th century by St. Buite who died around AD 521 and was an important centre of religion and learning until surpassed many years later by the nearby Mellifont Abbey in 1142.

The site is noted for its round tower, 10th century high cross and two churches built in the 14th century.

The round tower stands about 35-metres tall, and is in remarklably good condition, although it is not possible to go inside. It is believed that it was built as a refuge for the monks against the Vikings, (See Irish Round Towers).

The monastery was burned in 1079, probably by the Vikings although monastic sites suffered agression from many sources mainly because of the wealth they contained and their political influence.

The 5.5 metre (18 ft) Muiredach's High Cross is regarded as one of the finest high cross in Ireland. It is named after an abbot, Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who died in 923 and features biblical carvings of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The North and West faces although fine examples have not survived the ravages of time as well.

The famous poet and historian Flann Mainistrech, Flann of Monasterboice, was once lector Monasterboice.

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