This is Drogheda’s oldest monastic site as is known as ‘The Old Abbey’ or the ‘Hospital of St. Mary d’Urso’. The official name is however ‘The Abbey of St. Mary d’Urso’. It was founded in 1206 A.D by the Norman, Ursus de Swemele and his wife as a hospital for the sick and infirm. A flood in 1330 did considerable damage to the structure however it was restored mainly thanks to the generosity of the Brandon family of Drogheda. In 1349 it was given a ‘Royal Grant of Privileges’ and was later taken over by the Augustinian Crutched Friars as a Friary. The Abbey was finally surrendered in 1543 by the last Prior, Richard Malone, to the Drogheda Corporation, who proceeded to dispose of the monastic properties by lease. All that remains of the Abbey is the central belfry tower, a Gothic archway, an east archway and and a gable wall to the west.

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