Old Mellifont Abbey
The first Cistercian monastery in Ireland built in 1142 by Saint Malachy with monks from France.
Mellifont Abbey or An Mhainistir Mhór literally means ‘the Big Monastery’. The English language name for the monastery, ‘Mellifont’, comes from the Latin phrase Melli-fons, meaning ‘Font of Honey’. It was a Cistercian abbey located close to Drogheda in Louth and the first abbey of the order to be built in Ireland. Built by Saint Malachy of Armagh in 1142 with the help of monks sent by Saint Bernard from Clairvaux. However, the monks did find Ireland agreeable and returned to France. The the abbey was completed without them. In 1152, it hosted the Synod of Kells-Mellifont. After its dissolution in 1539 the abbey became a private manor house. This saw the signing of the Treaty of Mellifont in 1603 and served as William of Orange’s headquarters in 1690 during the Battle of the Boyne. Today, the ruined abbey is a National monument of Ireland and accessible to the public.
Good To Know
- Free access to grounds
- Fee for visitor centre and guided tour
- Limited access – check website for opening times
Tullyallen, Drogheda, Louth A92 K682
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