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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