Grey Abbey, Portaferry

4.7
#2 of 7 in Things to do in Portaferry
Grey Abbey is a ruined Cistercian priory in the village of Greyabbey, County Down, Northern Ireland, currently maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It is a monument in state care in the townland of Rosemount, beside the Rosemount estate, on the eastern edge of the village of Greyabbey in the Ards and North Down local government district, at grid ref: J5829 6810.HistoryGrey Abbey was founded in 1193, by John de Courcy's wife, Affreca (daughter of Godred Olafsson, King of the Isles), as a daughter house of Holmcultram Abbey in Cumbria. It had declined by the late Middle Ages and was dissolved in 1541. It was burnt out by Brian O'Neill in 1572. It was granted to Sir Hugh Montgomery who re-roofed the abbey in 1626 and refurbished it for use as a parish church. It was used until 1778.
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Grey Abbey Reviews
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  • The Abbey ruins are well worth a visit, we were there on a sunny day in February, no one else around, visitor centre was closed, I believe it is possible to get recorded messages but we really enjoyed...  more »
  • This village makes a most interesting half-day visit. The abbey is quiet and oozes history. Nest door is a medicinal herb garden filled with plants with explanations of how they are / were used for me...  more »
  • The abbey is on the Ards Peninsula, opposite Portaferry, actually. It's about 8 kilometres from Newtonards. Having said that, it's a beautiful monastic abbey ruin with several high crosses and in the ...  more »
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  • Fantastic ruins with so much history it's easy to take it for granted. The abbey and the graveyard beside are steeped in rich local history and gives you a small glimpse of the local history of the Ards peninsula. The visitor center is open at weekends from about 1-4 and in July and August every day. In the visitor center is a fantastic scale model of what the abbey looked like back when it was fully built. Ran by a group of local volunteers it's definitely worth visiting.
  • Beautiful, tranquil monastic ruins...spent a beautiful evening watching the sun go down over the great arch window
  • Download the audio guide from the apps store for Grayabbey before your visit to make the most of this 900 year old site. (Oh and pray for good weather lol)
  • Another great Irish monastic sites. Highly recommended!
  • Very atmospheric ruined abbey. A little out of the way and not very large, none the less if the weather is nice it's worth a visit. There are information points dotted around that provide quite a lot of detail about the abbey and monks life. We were lucky with the light and had the place to ourselves (apart from noisy crows).
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