St Mary's Abbey

County Dublin

Within the grounds of Howth Castle are the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, originally founded in 1042 by the Viking King Sitric, who also founded the original church on the site of Christ Church Cathedral. See the caretaker or read the instructions on the gate for opening times.

The abbey was amalgamated with the monastery on Ireland’s Eye in 1235. Some parts of the ruins date from that time, but most are from the 15th and 16th centuries. The tomb of Christopher St Lawrence (Lord Howth), in the southeastern corner, dates from around 1470.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Dublin attractions

1. Howth Castle

0.07 MILES

Most of Howth backs onto the extensive grounds of Howth Castle, built in 1564 but much changed over the years, most recently in 1910 when Sir Edwin…

2. National Transport Museum

0.07 MILES

The rather ramshackle National Transport Museum has a range of exhibits including double-decker buses, a bakery van, fire engines and trams – most notably…

3. Howth Castle Gardens

0.12 MILES

The gardens of Howth Castle are worth a visit; they’re noted for their rhododendrons (which bloom in May and June), azaleas and a long, 10m-high beech…

4. Claremont Beach

0.37 MILES

Howth's 'hidden' beach is Claremont, on the other side of the railway. It's a lovely sandy strand, with perfect views of Ireland's Eye directly in front…

6. Ireland's Eye

1.46 MILES

A short distance offshore from Howth is Ireland's Eye, a rocky seabird sanctuary with the ruins of a 6th-century monastery. There's a Martello tower at…

7. Howth Summit

1.49 MILES

Howth Summit (171m) has excellent views across Dublin Bay right down to County Wicklow. From the top of Howth hill you can walk to the top of the Ben of…

8. Dollymount Strand

3.99 MILES

In the coastal suburb of Clontarf, follow the tang of sea air from the promenade across the wooden footbridge and continue down Bull Walk, enjoying an…