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Grey Abbey Parish, County Down

Origin

Eng. grey + abbey; Ir. An Mhainistir Liath ‘the grey abbey’

Background

10.5km SE of Newtownards

bar: Ards Lower

The ruins of the monastery of Grey Abbey are to be found in the eastern part of the village of Greyabbey.  Founded in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy and daughter of Godred, king of Man, it was a Cistercian monastery and was colonized by monks from Holme Cultram in Cumberland.  It was dissolved c.1541-3.  The monastery was formerly known in Latin as Abbatia de Jugo Dei ‘abbey of the yoke of God’ and, in Irish, as An Mhainistir Liath ‘the grey abbey’ (ASCD 275-9).

References

Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 199

Additional Information

See townland of Grey Abbey for historical forms of this name.

Historical name form

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Barony
Ards Lower
Parish
Grey Abbey
Parish in 1851
Greyabbey
Townland
None
Place name ID
17607
Place name type
P