Dunbrody Abbey was a former Cistercian monastery founded in 1170. It was built  on the instructions of Herve de Montmorency (Strongbow’s uncle), after the Norman invasion of Ireland and was completed in c.1220. This is one of the longest Abbey’s in Ireland with a length of 59m. The abbey was dissolved under Henry VIII’s reformation and the last abbot of Dunbrody (Alexander Devereux) became Bishop of Ferns in 1539. To get this position he granted the abbey to the King with all its possessions and then changed religion. The abbey then came into the possession of the Etchingham family who in 1642 married into the Chichester family who still own the lands to this day. The Chichesters became the Earl’s of Donegall and still own the land to this day. They handed over the abbey to the Office of Public Works in 1911 but is still maintained by them. The visitor centre is run by the current Marquess of Donegall and the grounds have one of the only two full sized hedge mazes in Ireland.

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