Our Boyne Valley Tours include the famous Bective Abbey. Bective Abbey is a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1147. It is the second constructed, just 5 years after the first and sister abbey at Mellifont, also in the Boyne Valley, in Co. Meath.

Bective Abbey, in the Boyne Valley
Bective Abbey

In 1195 Hugh De Lacy, Lord of Meath, was buried here. He was murdered in Durrow and later his body was moved to St. Thomas’ Abbey in Dublin after a rift between the two abbeys. It was a heavily fortified abbey but as a result of the decline in the number of monks during the 15th century a section was demolished, reducing its size. However with the construction of a new west façade and fortified tower, plus a second tower at the southwest corner, it became the most fortified Cistercian monastery in Ireland.

Bective Abbey closed as an Abbey in 1536, was given to an English Civil Servant who build a large manor house around the cloisters and included the two towers. Very little remains of the original structure. However, the earliest remaining stones date to 1274. It was reconstructed in the 15th century and much of the beautiful cloisters were preserved including the one carved pillar of a kneeling Abbot with a crozier. Its now ‘castle like’ appearance made it, along with Trim Castle, not far away, an ideal filming location in 1984 for the film Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson. The Abbey and site was purchased by the Irish State in 2012 and includes a nearby car park. For anyone doing Boyne Valley tours, this site is a must visit, not just for its lovely cloisters and curved arches, but the undisturbed natural green and grassy surroundings sloping gently down to the River Boyne.

It is open all year and there are no entry fees, an added bonus!

If you are considering a tour of Bective Abbey and the Boyne Valley, talk to us today!