Mellifont Abbey (Irish: An Mhainistir Mhor , literally “the great abbey”), located near Drogheda in County Louth, was the first Cistercian monastery built in Ireland.


Drawing of the door of the chapter house from 1755, just before it was removed from the site.

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Founded in 1142 on the orders of Saint Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh, Mellifont Abbey sits on the banks of the River Mattock, some ten kilometers (6 miles) northwest of Drogheda.

By 1170, Mellifont had a hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers. The Abbey became the model for other Cistercian monastery built in Ireland, with his formal style imported from the monasteries of the same order in France; it was the most important monastery in Ireland until it was closed in 1539, when it became a fortified house.

The Synod of 1152

Main article: Synod of Kells Mellifont

An important synod held in Mellifont in 1152 recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters, indicating that the synod attended bishops and kings along with the papal legate John Paparo (Saint Malachy had died some four years in advance). The inauguration of the church took place in 1157 and claimed the church’s authority by banishing the king of Meath, Donnchadh Ua Maeleachlainn.

Various kings gave donations to help this foundation: Muirchertach Ua Lochlainn, provincial king of Ulster gave cattle, some gold and even a local town country Donnchad Ua Cearbhallär king of Airgialla (Oriel), who had donated the land, also gave gold, while Derbforgaill, wife Tigernan Ua Ruairc gave gold, a chalice and altar cloth.

The Abbey then closing

1603 The Treaty of Mellifont agreed English crown and Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone in the monastery grounds Mellifont was then belong to Garret Moore, 1st Viscount Moore, who was a close friend of Tyrone, and helped to persuade him to sign the treaty. Moore family left on the front Mellifont in 1927.

William of Orange used Mellifont Abbey House as his headquarters during the Battle of the Boyne 1690th

Mellifont Abbey is now a ruin. Some of the original monastery remains, save an 13th century lavabo (where monks washed their hands before eating), some Romanesque arches and a 14th-taletdomkapitlet.

New Mellifont Abbey is home to Cistercian in County Louth, and is located in Collon, a small village and townland in the southwest corner of County Louth, Ireland, on the N2 national head headed.


  • Tommaltach Ua Conchobair

See also

  • List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Louth)