St Malachy of Armagh introduced the Cistercian order to Ireland after visiting the order in Clairvaux on a return visit from Rome. He was so impressed that he left 3 of his monks to train in the Cistercian ways. They arrived back in 1142 and founded Mellifont Abbey near Drogheda. By the end of the 12th century there were 40 more Abbeys. They were masters in many fields of learning including hydro engineering, architecture, farming and were probably the first Irish men to sleep upstairs in a building! They ran their own shipping lines and became so rich that they even helped fund the crusades. By the time of the reformation, they owned a million acres of Ireland. After the suppression they lost nearly all their wealth. There are now only 5 Cistercian monasteries left in the country.
Boyle Abbey, Boyle. County Roscommon 1161 - 1592 Boyle Abbey was the first Cistercian monastery founded in the Province of Connacht. It was established in 1161 under the patronage of the MacDermotts [...]
Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath 1142 Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142. This was the first, the richest and the most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The Cistercian Order was established [...]
Tintern Abbey, Saltmills. County Wexford 1200 The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of [...]
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 [...]