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Heritage Ireland

Old Mellifont Abbey Monastic Site

Visit Ireland’s very first Cistercian foundation

See all opening times

Old Mellifont Abbey Monastic Site

Visit Ireland’s very first Cistercian foundation

See all opening times


Grounds only – Free entry

Access to exhibition in the Visitor Centre and guided tour:

Adult: €5.00
Group/Senior: €4.00
Child(12-17)/Student: €3.00
Family: €13.00

Getting here

Co. Louth

A92 K682

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Old Mellifont Abbey Monastic Site

Mellifont Abbey was the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland. St Malachy of Armagh created it in 1142 with the help of a small number of monks sent by St Bernard from Clairvaux. The monks did not take well to Ireland and soon returned to France, but the abbey was completed anyway and duly consecrated with great pomp.

It has several extraordinary architectural features, the foremost of which is the two-storey octagonal lavabo.

The monks at Mellifont hosted a critical synod in 1152. The abbey was central to the history of later centuries, too, even though it was in private hands by then. The Treaty of Mellifont, which ended the Nine Years War, was signed here in 1603, and William of Orange used the abbey as his headquarters during the momentous Battle of the Boyne.

Opening Times

Site open all year round.

Access to Visitor Centre and guided tours: 23 May – 01 September 2024 only Daily 10:00 – 17:00

Last admission 45 minutes before closing

Average Length of Visit: 1 hour


This site is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities.


Co. Louth

A92 K682

041 982 6459 / 041 988 0300

Getting Here

10km north-west of Drogheda off the R168 (Drogheda-Collon Road)

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Click the relevant icon below to open Maps directions


  • Car park
  • Coach parking
  • Exhibition
  • Gift Shop
  • Guided tours
  • Picnic Area
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Dogs on lead
  • No climbing


Social Guide

Download, print and read our social guide (PDF) about visiting Old Mellifont Abbey. This will help first-time visitors, families and people with developmental and learning disabilities to prepare for a visit to Old Mellifont Abbey.

Download the Social Guide

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