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Greyabbey | by Eugene Hamill
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Greyabbey derives its name from Grey Abbey, a Cistercian abbey-monastery located on the north side of the village, dating from 1193. Historically it was also called Monesterlee or Monesterlea, which are anglicisations of its Irish name Mainistir Liath ("grey abbey/monastery"). It was founded by Affreca, daughter of Godred Olafsson, King of the Isles, and wife of John de Courcy, Anglo-Norman conqueror of the province of Ulster. The site of the abbey was on the Ards Peninsula, 7miles (11 km) from Newtownards, at the confluence of a small river and Strangford Lough.. Architecturally it is important as the first fully gothic style building in Ulster.

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Taken on November 8, 2012