County Louth is home to the Old Mellifont Abbey, Ireland’s first Cistercian monastery, founded in 1142. At the site, located just 10 minutes from Drogheda, visitors can view features like the monks’ chapter house and an octagonal lavabo.
Old Mellifont Abbey in County Louth was the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh. The site is located just a 10 minute drive from Drogheda and features an unusual octagonal lavabo in which the monks washed their hands, dating from circa 1200.
The Old Mellifont Abbey Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition on the work of masons in the Middle Ages, with fine examples of their craft on display, alongside remnants of the abbey’s gate and its church.
Access to the site by a stone stairway only, while the Visitor Centre is completely accessible for guests with disabilities. Guests are advised to wear shoes suitable for uneven terrain, as there are gravel pathways.