Sunday, February 20, 2011

Old Mellifont Abbey

           It was Friday and Cikgu Anuar came from Limerick to sharpen his knowledge in Silat Seni Gayong. As usual our topics of chatting are based on the development of Silat Seni Gayong worldwide. Suddenly I slot in the conversation of going for a visit to some of historical places in Ireland. It was agreed and we search in the internet the nearest site where we can go for tomorrow. The nearest site to go is Drogheda and the place to visit is Old Mellifont Abbey. 

Information Board

            Mellifont Abbey is an Irish Cistercian monastery located between the village of Collon and the town of  Drogheda in County Louth. It is noteworthy for the conflict between the Irish and Anglo-Normans which occurred in Ireland in the wake of the Norman conquest of Ireland on 1169. Mellifont Abbey was one of many Irish Cistercian abbeys that rebelled not only against Anglo-Norman rule, but eventually against the Cistercian Order itself.

The Lavabo

           Mellifont Abbey is a 12 century Irish Cistercian ruins. Most of what remains of the abbey is only foundations, but there is a fine lavabo that is most intact where the monks would have washed their hands before meals, along with the chapter house and a section of the cloister. There are also evocative ruins of a gateway and a small church nearby.

The Riuns That Attach To The Lavabo

           The lavabo is one of the most unusual features of the abbey. It was apparently an addition to the cloister and dates from the thirteenth century. It had washing fountain which might be a column from which water flowed out from many openings and went into a basin. Monks washed their hands here before entering the refectory. It is the only remaining building of its kind. Its capital is embellished with carvings of foliage.

            There are remains of the abbey church. The abbey had a unique crypt at its west end. The crypt was probably designed to provide structural support, as the bedrock slopes steeply towards the river Mattock. It evidently had windows, though it was suggested for used for some other purpose such as storehouse or prison.

           A visit to the medieval site of the Irish history makes us understand the culture and the civilisation of the people. And for 5 of us who visited the site wondering about the area which are said to be built before the Prophet Isa pbuh . But the visit is a worth in gaining knowledge in various nations around the world civilisation in engineering , architectural and religion of the past.

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