Bective Abbey, Bective. County Meath          1147

Bective Abbey is set in beautiful countryside beside a lovely old bridge over the River Boyne. It was founded in 1147 by the King of Meath and was the second Cistercian abbey built in Ireland after Mellifont Abbey. It was so important that Hugh de Lacy, the most powerful Norman knight who built the nearby Trim Castle was buried here in 1195. His remains were however removed to Dublin after a bitter dispute. Much of the abbey was altered during the turbulent years of the 15th century and it became the most fortified Cistercian monastery in Ireland. The abbey closed down in 1536 after the Suppression of the Monasteries was carried out by Henry VIII. In the 17th century a manor house was incorporated into the Abbey to produce an eclectic mix of interesting architecture. The cloisters are beautifully preserved and include a fantastic carved pillar of an Abbot with a crozier kneeling on one of the cloister pillars. More recently it was used as one of the locations in the movie Braveheart.