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


An excellent example of an early Irish Cistercian Monastery Boyle Abbey was established in 1161 under the patronage of the MacDermotts and was completed in 1218. It was the first Cistercian monastery founded [...]

Boyle Abbey, Boyle. County Roscommon  1161-15922020-04-29T13:57:47+00:00

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath 1142


Ireland's first and most important Cistercian Abbey 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 [...]

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath 11422020-04-26T13:28:39+00:00

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 1200


A great storm & the promise of William Marshall  The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his [...]

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 12002020-05-08T07:14:11+00:00

Bective Abbey, Bective. County Meath 1147


The most fortified Cistercian monastery in Ireland, Hugh de Lacy & Braveheart Bective Abbey is set in beautiful countryside beside a lovely old bridge over the River Boyne. It was founded in 1147 [...]

Bective Abbey, Bective. County Meath 11472020-04-29T19:43:26+00:00