Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Northern Ireland  /  County Down  /  Portaferry  /  Historic Sites  /  Grey Abbey

Grey Abbey, Portaferry

4.7
#12 of 28 in Historic Sites in County Down
Historic Walking Area Religious Site
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 Borough of Ards, 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.
Work out when and for how long to visit Grey Abbey and other Portaferry attractions using our handy Portaferry travel itinerary planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Grey Abbey
map

Plans in County Down by other users

2 days in Newcastle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Newcastle BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, kids, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Newcastle BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Derry, Bushmills & Warrenpoint BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: 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 Newcastle BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Newcastle BY A USER FROM THAILAND September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Newry BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Dublin, Northern Ireland & Doolin BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM INDIA August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans

Plan your trip to Portaferry

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Portaferry

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
26 reviews
Google
4.7
  • This is a quiet and relaxing corner of Greyabbey with easy access for cars. There is considerable history attached to the ruined abbey and the Montgomery family who dominated the area. Great for a day...  more »
  • Quite hard to find beside the church community centre. A small private car park and free admission to interesting and we'll displayed abbey ruins with lots of grass for kids to run around and enjoy th...  more »
  • Spent an interesting couple of hours walking around and reading about its history. In a beautiful setting and a lovely village.  more »
Google
  • Nice to visit..loads of history, free in. It's an old ruin, could take 20 mins to explore if your not taking your time..no facilities on site. There is a public toilet 2min walk away , back into the town , turn left onto the Main Street and left again. If passing. Stop! A little hidden, its at the base of a current churches ground.
  • A gorgeous site and genuinely a hidden gem, well worth visiting with exquisite ruins. The abbey was founded as a Cistercian abbey/monastery located on the north side of the village, dating from 1193. Historically it was also called Monesterlee or Monesterlea, which are anglicisations of its Irish name Mainistir Liath (grey abbey/monastery). Architecturally it is important as the first fully gothic style building in Ulster; it is the first fully stone church in which every window arch and door was pointed rather than round headed. There is a small visitor centre but opening times can be erratic.
  • This historic ruin is so beautiful and tucked away behind a church you'd miss it very easily. It's well worth a visit, there are picnic areas so go prepared and spend some lovely time there
  • Beautiful location, buildings and gardens - cant wait to go again!
  • Superb place to visit. Really helpful information centre. Actually, quite a moving place to spend time in when you reflect on its history. Well worth a visit!