19 Dec Bective Abbey, County Meath
Bective Abbey, on the left bank of the Boyne close to Bective Bridge is one of the more picturesque of the ruined abbeys of Meath. It was founded in 1147 for Cistercians by Murchad O’Melaghlin, King of Meath and soon rose to importance, its abbot being a lord of Parliament. Hugh de Lacy, procurator-general, who was accused of aspiring to the crown of Ireland and assassinated in 1186 was buried here. The abbey was rebuilt on a smaller scale in the 15th century and after the suppression it was adapted as a mansion (c 1600). The buildings surround a central cloister, and a strong battlemented tower rises at the southwest angle. The dependencies on the east side have unusually thick walls, incorporating chimney-flues. To the northeast stand the ruins of Clady church (13th century), near a bridge, perhaps coeval.
Tara may be approached by turning northeast from Bective along the south bank of the Boyne, and then right at the Bellinter crossroads. You pass Assey Castle, and Bellinter House.
Beactive Abbey is a must see on your Ireland tours.