The Boyne Valley - Ireland's leading tourist destination

Sightseeing at Old Mellifont Abbey

Old Mellifont Abbey
Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142 and was the first Cistercian abbey to be built in Ireland. The abbey sits in a peaceful location on the banks of the river Mattock, a tributary of the Boyne around 7 miles from Drogheda.

The abbey imported it's formal style of architecture from the abbeys of the same order in Europe.The abbey was consecrated in 1157 and from this humble beginnings the Cistercian community spread out throughout Ireland founding other abbeys throughout the country with Mellifont being the model on which these abbeys were based.

The most significant remains of Mellifont Abbey is the chapter house, the Lavabo where the monks would have washed their hands before meals and the impressive Gateway. The other parts of the Abbey are gone but small walls remain making it possible to make out how the Abbey would have looked.

A visitors centre was recently opened at the Abbey in the building used for Ireland's first Youth Hostel. The centre contains some of the carvings found during excavations of the site. Guided tours are also available from May to October.

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