Map Reference: W571922 (1571, 0922)
Mourne Abbey was founded c.1200 as Preceptory of Knights Hospitallers by Alexander de St Helena. After 1335 Br John FitzRichard built a strong tower there. The site passed into MacCarthy hands in the 16th century. In the middle of the 18th century it was noted that the site was defended on the south side by a strong castle 'which was lately standing'. There is now no trace of this building. A modern graveyard now covers most of the site.
Good traces of an enclosing wall survive including a rectangular tower. Only parts of the ground and first floors of this tower remain, with the entire west wall fallen. Fragments of a vault remain over the ground floor. Other remnants of the defences include the low remains of a D-shaped tower.
Within the enclosure are the remains of a nave and chancel church. The west wall of the nave has completely gone and the north and south walls of the chancel are fragmentary, especially at the east end. Otherwise the walls stand to near full height but are heavily ivy-clad. There is a doorway near the centre of the north wall of the nave but only one original jamb stone remains. There is a similar door opening in the south wall.
Some of the springing of the chancel arch remains. The arch was later blocked up but much of the blocking has now collapsed. Other buildings within the enclosure have now been reduced to foundation level.
Some More Photos of Mourne Abbey
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