CHRISTMAS WEEK 2022
I moved from Dublin to Trim in county Meath for a few days this Christmas .
Trim is a town in County Meath, Ireland. It is situated on the River Boyne and has a population of 9,194. The town is noted for Trim Castle – the largest Norman castle in Ireland. One of the two cathedrals of the United Dioceses of Meath and Kildare — St Patrick’s cathedral — is located north of the river.
One task that I had was to visit Bective Abbey which is close to the town of Trim and I managed to do so this morning because of a break in the weather.
Bective Abbey is a Cistercian abbey on the River Boyne in Bective, County Meath, Ireland.
The abbey was founded in 1147, and the remaining (well-preserved) structure and ruins primarily date to the 15th century. The site, including a nearby car park, were purchased by the state in 2012, and are managed by the Office of Public Works. 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.
The abbey was founded in 1147 by Murchad O’Maeil-Sheachlainn, as a ‘daughter house’ of Mellifont Abbey. 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. Around this time the estate lands were surveyed, and recorded at 1580 acres.
The site was taken into state care, and named a protected structure and National Monument. Bective Abbey was subject to a number of excavations in the early 21st century, and made more accessible to visitors around this time.
There was a story of a golden coffin that had been buried in Bective Abbey. A local man named Andy Gossan knew of its whereabouts, passing this information on to his elderly sister, Ann, on his deathbed. She in turn told the parish priest of Kilmessan, Fr. Morrissey, who took the secret to his grave, when he died in 1927, aged 86. This story was recorded by a schoolgirl, Rosie Connell in 1938.