Bangor Abbey, Bangor

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Bangor Abbey was established by Saint Comgall in 558 in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland and was famous for its learning and austere rule. It is not to be confused with the slightly older abbey in Wales on the site of Bangor Cathedral.
FoundationComgall founded the monastery at Bangor about 558 A.D. in the County Down, on the southern shore of Belfast Lough. The ancient Annals differ about the exact year, giving various dates between 552 and 559. The earliest, the Annals of Tighernach, and the Annals of Innisfallen, give 558 A.D. as the date of the foundation. The name was sometimes written "Beannchor". The place was also called the "Vale of Angels", because, according to a popular legend, St. Patrick once rested there and saw the valley filled with angels.
Comgall was born in Antrim in 517, and educated at Clooneenagh and Clonmacnoise. The spirit of monasticism was then strong in Ireland. Many sought solitude the better to serve God, and with this object Comgall retired to a lonely island. The persuasions of his friends drew him from his retreat; later on he founded the monastery of Bangor.
Under his rule, which was rigid, prayer and fasting were incessant. Food was scant and plain. Worship held the foremost place in the life of the community. It is clear that music was a prominent feature of the worship of the Bangor monks. Crowds came to share his penances and his vigils; they also came for learning.
SchoolBangor Abbey is regarded as one of the most important of the early Northern Irish monastic sites, second only to Armagh. Within the extensive rampart which encircled its monastic buildings, students studied scripture, theology, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, and the classics. Mo Sinu moccu Min was the fifth abbot of Bangor. It is thought that he tutored Columbanus. Robin Flower wrote that "It is clear that particular attention was paid to historical studies at Bangor, and the earliest Irish chronicle was probably a production of that house."
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Bangor Abbey Reviews
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  • You can buy a guide to the grave yard and if you explore, you will find the burial place of someone linked to the Titanic .The abbey was founded centuries ago and there are accounts of its early histo...  more »
  • Apart from being 'another cathedral', which can become repetitive, a stroll through the graveyard beside this abbey provides a couple of hours of fascinating history. Many headstones are still reasona...  more »
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  • Beautiful church set in lovely grounds founded in 558 AD and rebuilt in the 14th and 17th centuries. Well worth a visit and is just a short walk from bus and train station. There are some great car boot sales on Saturday mornings during summer.
  • The most historic part of Bangor
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