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 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.
Grey Abbey is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Portaferry Edition.
Source
Create an itinerary including Grey Abbey
map
Grey Abbey Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
30 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We stopped here on our bus tour after leaving Belfast. This was an outstanding place to visit and walk around. The old abbey and site is impressive !! The graveyard is one of those sites that is more ...  more »
  • We stopped here for lunch at the Wildfowler on way to Portaferry. We had a lovely time browsing in the antique shops and antique laneway. We also found a nice little gift shop at 'No:14', which stocks...  more »
  • If you love old buildings this is impressive. A very old monastic building dating from the early part of the first century. The graveyard is my favourite. Graves from the late 1600s. This was the plac...  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!

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 hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in County Down by other users

1 day in Banbridge BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Dublin & Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Newry BY A USER FROM IRELAND January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Newcastle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Downpatrick BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Castlewellan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Newcastle & Belfast BY A USER FROM SPAIN November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Newcastle & Belfast BY A USER FROM SPAIN November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Newcastle & Belfast BY A USER FROM SPAIN November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans