Greyabbey Medieval Monastery, Greyabbey

A ruined Cistercian priory

Greyabbey, alongside Inch Abbey, stands as a prime illustration of Anglo-Norman Cistercian architecture in Ulster, representing the daughter house of Holm Cultram in Cumbria. Established in 1193 by Affreca, the wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman conqueror of East Ulster, Greyabbey reflects the historical tapestry of the region. Despite facing financial hardships and decline during the late Middle Ages, the abbey underwent dissolution in 1541. However, in the early 17th century, it found new life under the ownership of Sir Hugh Montgomery, who undertook the refurbishment of the nave for parish worship. This continued until the late 18th century.

The present-day remnants of Greyabbey, set amidst the picturesque parkland surroundings of the nearby grand residence of Rosemount, include the church, cloister, and adjacent structures to the south. This evocative site not only showcases the architectural prowess of its Anglo-Norman Cistercian roots but also narrates a tale of resilience, adaptation, and the evolving purposes that have shaped this historical gem over the centuries.

This is an open site with a small visitor information centre

Visitors Centre open 1pm - 4pm on Saturdays and 2pm – 4.30pm on Sundays


Click to leave or read commemts

Greyabbey Cemetery, 129 Main St, Greyabbey, Newtownards BT22 2NQ

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