Inch Abbey, Downpatrick

4.5
#5 of 28 in Historic Sites in County Down
Inch Abbey is a large, ruined monastic site 0.75 miles north-west of Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, on the north bank of the River Quoile in a hollow between two drumlins and featuring early Gothic architecture. The site is mostly in State Care and is at grid ref: J477455, off the main road to Belfast.Pre-Norman siteThe site was originally on an island in the Quoile Marshes. The pre-Norman Celtic monastic settlement here, known as Inis Cumhscraigh, was in existence by the year 800. In 1002 it was plundered by the Vikings led by Sitric, King of the Danes, who came up the Quoile with a fleet from the sea. The Vikings plundered the settlement again in 1149. Its large earthwork enclosure has been traced from aerial photographs. On the ground, the early bank and ditch can be followed along the line of trees on the eastern boundary of the site, and partly along the western boundary. The buildings of the early monastery would have been made of timber.Norman EstablishmentInch Abbey was established as a Cistercian house by John de Courcy and his wife Affrica. Inch, or Iniscourcy, was erected as an act of repentance for the destruction of the Abbey at Erinagh (or Erenagh) (3 miles (4.8 km) to the south) by de Courcy in 1177. It was colonised directly by monks from Furness Abbey in Lancashire in 1180, along with some of the monks from Erinagh. The Cistercian monastery was located near to the river in the southern area of the Early Christian earthwork enclosure.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
105 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 20, 2017
    An easy side trip with parking when you're at Downpatrick, with pretty views of Down Cathedral. Also has a modern and ancient cemetery.  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    What a gem ... one of the many but this is a very beautiful place. Quiet! Detours worth
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  • August 15, 2017
    The ruins are photogenic. It is on the edge of a river and pleasant place to stroll. Seems busy with Game of Throne fans. Hope you don't arrive the same time as a bus tour.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful Abbey ruins. Well maintained grounds, free parking, and nice walking path. Was a good stop on my trip of Ireland ruins. Wish I had mate time to spend there the day we stopped, would have enjoyed a longer walk around the grounds. Worth a stop.
  • Fantastic day while on the Game of Thrones tour! Never knew about Inch Abbey and its history until now. Great spot for a bit of role play in Winterfell type gear 😁
  • A rainy day when we arrived, which was a shame as we had to rush our visit somewhat. I would have liked more time to soak up the atmosphere. Bonus being there were few people visiting at this time of year in Feb so had the place pretty much to ourselves, which is quite an idyllic spot. The crows cawing flying around from an old tree next to the abbey, that was covered in ivy was a nice touch.
  • Just got there during sunset and no other tourists around. A well kept monument and free entrance and parking.
  • Visited Inch Abbey as part of a Game of Thrones tour. We were able to see where scenes from season 1 were filmed. The structure and grounds have been well maintained. It's a short walk up a gravel path, so it may not be the best excursion for those who are unsteady on their feet.

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7 days in County Down BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Downpatrick BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: September, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Ireland, Downpatrick & Belfast BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland & Downpatrick BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Downpatrick BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Downpatrick & Portstewart BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Downpatrick, Bushmills & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Down BY A USER FROM IRELAND May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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