Fore Abbey, County Westmeath

Fore Abbey is the old Benedictine Abbey ruin, situated to the north of Lough Lene in County Westmeath, just 25km outside its county town of Mullingar.Fore village, (sister parish of nearby St. Mary's Collinstown) is situated within a valley between two hills: the Hill of Ben, the Hill of Houndslow, and the Anchorland rise area. There can be found the ruins of a Christian monastery, which had been populated at one time by French Benedictine monks from Évreux, Normandy. Fore, Fobhar is the anglicised version of the Irish name that signifies “the town of the water-springs” and was given to the area after Saint Feichin’s spring or well, which is next to the old church a short distance from where the ruined monastery still stands. It was St. Feichin who founded the ancient Fore Abbey around 630. By 665 (the time of the yellow plague) there were 300 monks living in the community.A Benedictine PrioryIn the 13th century Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath the Norman and landlord built a Bendictine priory in the valley nearby. Many of the buildings that remain today (in ruins) are from the 15th century and have been restored throughout this century, making Fore Abbey the largest group of 300 Benedictine to have sojourned and remained in Ireland. This priory was dedicated to both St Feichin and St Taurin, the Évreux, Normandy abbot of the parent monastery. Its 13th century church still has some decorations and graceful arcaded cloisters. Attached to the church are the broken walls of two towers, where the monks once lived. Between 771 and 1169 Fore Abbey was burnt 12 times by pillaging invaders, such as the Turgesius led Vikings.
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Fore Abbey Reviews
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55 reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • Since the tourist information office was closed we were unable to seek additional information about the site to give it contex. Thus, our visit was pleasant without being special. The ruins are well m...  more »
  • If you really wish to see true Irish people then you should pop into see Jane in the local coffee shop who was so helpful and knowledgeable about the area. That her charm would make you go back for a ...  more »
  • This has to be the most under-rated historical site we have visited. Fortunately, one of our cousins suggested the visit because it was close to an old family homestead, and we are so happy we visited...  more »
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  • We love it here. Go there regularly with the kids and dogs. There is a lovely walk there too. Shame some people let there dogs poop and don't pick it up even on the path though it's bad on the grass too especially as a lot of families go here with young children. I have two dogs and always pick up after them. It's really not hard. No poo bin but there is a normal bin and a nice few picnic benches. Kids love it. Lovely area for photos
  • One of my favourite places to go to ,it has great views ,information on the 7 wonders ,great history there and a fun place for a picnic provided the weather is nice
  • Fore and its seven wonders is a great place to spend a day. It has all the elements of a museum faoin aer telling the story of Gaelic Ireland and Norman Ireland together. It is also one of the few columbinaria in Ireland and unhelpfully explained as a place for rearing pigeons rather than for storing the skulls of monks long dead.
  • Fantastic, family day out.... Easily pass the whole day there, exploring the Abbey and grounds, with a beautiful 3k walk which brings you back to the visitors centre and beautiful coffee shop which is so well run with friendly staff. Climb up to the church and check out the views. It is just excellent and FREE. Fore Abbey is a credit to all who keep it looking so good and is very clean.
  • Great views and the Fore Valley is chock full of history. Coffee shop and toilets nearby. Parking is plentiful. Never too busy.

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