Movilla Abbey (Irish: Mainistir Mhaigh Bhile "Monastery of the Plain of the Notable Tree") in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland, is believed to have been one of Ulster's most important monasteries and was founded by St. Finian in 540 AD.
It may occupy the centre of a pre-Christian cult associated with a great tree. By the time it was attacked and burned by the Vikings in 825 it had grown considerably in size and had extensive craft workshops creating a wide range of bronze, glass and other products. In 1135 Saint Malachy of Armagh introduced the Augustinian Canons.
The graveyard contains many old (including one pre-Norman) graves, as well as the more modern ones including that of Colonel Paddy Mayne and of Ottilie Paterson (Barber) the Jazz and Blues singer most noted for her performances with the Chris Barber Band in the 1950s and '60s. Ottilie was born in nearby Comber.
- AI824.1 Bissextile. Kl. Mag Bile and Bennchor plundered by the heathens.
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