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The area around Bangor Abbey traces history back over 1600 years. One of the first monastries in Ireland was founded here in 563 AD. From Bangor, missionaries travelled across Europe delivering Christianity giving the town early status. All that remains of this important time is the 11th Century Walls near the road as you approach, built by St Malachy.
Bangor Abbey itself is a mix of old and relatively new - an extensive renovation in the 1950's has delivered a fairly plain interior but not without some interesting features. A huge painting over the altar depicts the risen Christ and the entrance porch and tower are the only parts of the old church that date back to the 12th Century.
You can also view a copy of the Bangor Antiphonry, written in the 6th Century by the monks of the Abbey, the original of which resides in Bobbio, Italy.
In the graveyard there are several notable graves included that in memory of the ships surgeon on the Titanic. The grave of Archibel Wilson at the back of the graveyard contains a curse - he was hanged for treason in the 17th Century and went to the gallows on his knees protesting his innocence, promising to return once more!
Access to the Abbey is easiest in the morning and on Sundays when there are services at 10.30am and 6.30pm.