Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda, County Louth

Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda, County Louth

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It is the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh, its most unusual feature is the octagonal Lavabo c. 1200. The Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition on the work of masons in the Middle Ages with fine examples of their craft on display.
 
“We came to New Mellifont, Collon Co. Louth, in 1938, from Mount Mellary Abbey in Waterford, at the invitation of Cardinal Mac Rory. In 1142, 800 years earlier, we Cistercians had come to the archdiocese of Armagh at the invitation of St. Malachy its archbishop St. Malachy was very conscious of the need for a monastery. This was due to fire in 1097. While on a journey to Rome to receive the pallium from the Pope, Malachy stopped at the famous monastery of Clairvaux. Abbot Bernard agreed to take some of Malachy’s companions to be trained in the monk’s way of life. In 1142 Malachy’s trainees arrived back in Ireland with about ten French monks. They proceeded to build a large stone monastery at old Mellifont, scarcely two miles from Monasterboice.”
 

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