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Boyle Abbey, Boyle
(4.2/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
Boyle Abbey was the first successful foundation in Connacht of the Cistercian order which had opened its first Irish house at Mellifont, County Louth, in 1142.HistoryIn the 12th century Malachy of Armagh became aware of two new monastic orders in France, the Cistercians and the Cannons Regular of St. Augustine and he decided to introduce both orders to Ireland in an effort to reform the old Irish church which, both morally and organizationally, had fallen out of line with much of the rest of Christian Europe.The first Cistercian Abbey was founded at Mellifont, Co. Louth. St. Malachy made arrangements that young aspirant Irish men who want to become Cistercians should be trained in St. Bernard’s own monastery of Clairvaux or one of its daughter houses.The Cistercians wanted to found an abbey in Moylurg as a daughter house of Mellifont and they did try to find a suitable place. They tried Grellachdinach and Drumcunny. By 1148 the Celtic monastery of ATH-DA-LARAG had either very few monks or none at all. So Taoiseach McGreevy, a local chieftain, negotiated and gave the Celtic monastery of ATH-DA-LARAG in “pure free and perpetual alms” to the Cistercians. The Cistercians were welcomed and given land grants of about 50000acre scattered west of the River Shannon in 27 out-farms called granges. The Cistercians respected their Celtic monastic buildings. They did not demolish them, but joined their own buildings onto the original ones at ATH-DA-LARAG.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We came across the Boyle Abbey while driving north on the road less traveled during our vacation. They have done some work on the Abbey to help maintain it including adding a viewing "lean to" to allo...  more »
  • Interesting ruined abbey (later converted into Elizabethan barracks) in the small town of Boyle. Helpful staff at the visitor centre a useful two-side guide. 
  • Managed to get into this Abbey just before it shut for the season and it didn't disappoint. A simple walk through that describes the history and architecture. Very interesting. 
Google
  • This is a nice little abbey with some features that you don't necessarily see in other ruins. They have reinforced one of the church walls, and in doing so created a glass enclosure replicating what that side of the structure was likely to have appeared. There is some good interpretive material as well, and those staffing the site were very informative and enthusiastic.
  • Lovely historical site with informative plaques and maps. Knowledgeable tour guide too
  • We found this by accident on our way to something else, but I'm so glad we did, it was beautiful and so much fun to wander around in.
  • One of the must sees in the region. The story of the abbey is very interesting and the ruin of the abbey is quite large. The staff at the pay desk was very friendly and gave us additional expanations about the history of the abbey.
  • Lovely person on the gate, with lots of information. Worthwhile.