Old Mellifont Abbey, founded by Saint Malachy in 1142, was Ireland's first Cistercian monastery. Its foundation marked the introduction into Ireland of the European monastic way of life. Its most unusual feature is the octagonal lavabo from the 12th Century, c1210.
The OPW Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition, which includes fragments of carved stone masonry, recovered from the abbey during excavation. Access to site by stone stairway (fourteen steps with a single handrail). Pathways have a gravel surface and visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear due to uneven terrain. The visitor centre is fully accessible for visitors with disabilites.
Guided tours available on request.
Mellifont is an open site and can be visited throughout the year free of charge (grounds only).
Note: There is limited access to the Visitor Centre and guided tours — Visit Website (above) for updates on opening Dates, Times and Admission Fees.