Bangor Abbey was established by Saint Comgall in 558 in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland and was famous for its learning and austere rule. It is not to be confused with the even older abbey in Wales on the site of Bangor Cathedral. Bangor Abbey was a centre of learning which trained missionaries in the Middle Ages. It used to be called the "Light of the World". It was from here that St. Columbanus set out on his famous missionary journey to Europe.
Little remained of the original abbey after repeated attacks by the Danes, who destroyed it in 824. It was restored by Saint Malachy in the 12th century, given to the Franciscans in 1469, and to the Augustinians a century later. It was finally dissolved under James I.
The present Tower of the Abbey dates back to the 14th century.
Sir James Hamilton repaired the church in 1617 and was buried in it when he died in 1644.
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