Bective Abbey

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Bective Abbey
Bective Abbey from the sky

Bective Abbey (Irish: Mainistir Bheigthí)[1] is a Cistercian abbey on the River Boyne in Bective, County Meath, Ireland.

The abbey was founded in 1147,[2] and the remaining (well-preserved) structure and ruins primarily date to the 15th century.[3] The site, including a nearby car park, were purchased by the state in 2012, and are managed by the Office of Public Works.[4] The abbey, including its early 13th century church, 15th century cloister, and 16th century tower, is a protected structure and recorded on the register of National monuments of Ireland.[5][6]


The abbey was founded in 1147 by Murchad O'Maeil-Sheachlainn, as a 'daughter house' of Mellifont Abbey.[2] The abbey and its estate lands were confiscated during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, before being rented to Thomas Asgarde, and later purchased by Andrew Wyse in 1552.[7] Around this time the estate lands were surveyed, and recorded at 1580 acres.[2] During the 17th century, the abbey buildings were partially converted for use as a manor house.[3]

The site was taken into state care,[4] and named a protected structure and National Monument.[6] Bective Abbey was subject to a number of excavations in the early 21st century,[8] and made more accessible to visitors around this time.[9][2]

In popular culture[edit]

Bective Abbey was used as a location during the shooting of the 1995 historical action-drama movie Braveheart.[2]



  1. ^ "Mainistir Bheigthí - Bective Abbey". Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Hidden Ireland: Mystery island, ruined fortress and Braveheart daydreams". The Journal. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Churches, Abbeys and Monasteries - Bective Abbey". Fáilte Ireland. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Why Ireland rocked travel in 2016 & hidden gems for 2017". RTÉ. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017. Bective Abbey. A 12th century Cisterian Monastery, [..] was bought by the Office of Public Works in 2012, to ensure its preservation
  5. ^ "Record of Protected Structures - County Meath" (PDF). Meath County Council. p. 81. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "National Monuments in State Care: Ownership & Guardianship - Meath" (PDF). National Monuments Service. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Heritage sites - Bective Abbey". Meath County Council. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Summary of archaeological excavations at Bective Abbey, County Meath". Database of Irish Excavation Reports. 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Written Answers - Bective Abbey, County Meath". Houses of the Oireachtas. 23 January 1996. Retrieved 23 March 2017.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 53°34′57″N 06°42′10″W / 53.58250°N 6.70278°W / 53.58250; -6.70278