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Abbey Street and Newtownards Road, Bangor, Down,
T: (028) 9127 0069
F: (028) 9127 4466
St Comgall founded the Abbey in 558AD and it grew to become one ...
St Comgall founded the Abbey in 558AD and it grew to become one of the most important seats of learning in Ireland, with almost 3,000 monks at the time of Comgall’s death in 601AD.
Two of its most famous students, Columbanus and Gall, travelled throughout Europe setting up monasteries in Luxeuil, Bobbio and Breganz. Artefacts from the monastery’s earliest period can be viewed in North Down Museum. The most celebrated literary work to come from the monastery is the seventh century Bangor Antiphonary, a collection of hymns, prayers and poems now kept in the Ambrosian Library in Milan.
Bangor’s vulnerability to attack from the sea resulted in the Abbey falling into disrepair, following many Viking raids. It was partially restored by Saint Malachy in the 12th Century, when he was Abbot in Bangor. His work can be seen at what is known locally as Malachy’s Wall, the oldest surviving remnant the Abbey, adjacent to the Old Gate Lodge.