Historic houses and castles

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Grey Abbey

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Contact details

Address

Main Street, Greyabbey, County Down,
T: (028) 9082 3207
E: scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk

The ruins of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy.

Along with Inch Abbey, Greyabbey is the best example of Anglo-Norman Cistercian architecture in Ulster and was the daughter house of Holm Cultram (Cumbria). It was founded in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster. Poor and decayed in the late Middle Ages, the abbey was dissolved in 1541 but in the early 17th century was granted to Sir Hugh Montgomery and the nave was refurbished for parish worship until the late 18th century. The remains, in the beautiful parkland setting of the nearby grand house of Rosemount, consist of the church with cloister and surrounding buildings to the south.

There is a small visitor centre with displays at the entrance and a reconstructed ‘medieval’ physic (herb) garden.

There is pedestrian and wheelchair access from the car park to the visitor centre, herb garden and abbey church. Gravel paths and grass areas may make some parts of the site inaccessible to some users.

No unaccompanied children under the age of 16.