Nendrum Monastery

Comber, United Kingdom

Nendrum Monastery may have been founded in the 5th century, but this is uncertain. The monastery came to an end at some time between 974 and 1178, but its church served a parish until the site was abandoned in the 15th century. Some remains of the monastery can still be seen.

Dendrochronology has dated a tide mill on the island to the year 619, making this the oldest excavated tide mill anywhere in the world. The monastic site included orchards, gardens, pastures, arable fields, and a guest-house.

The principal monastic remains which can now be seen are three concentric cashels (enclosures) of dry stone walling, but these were substantially rebuilt by Lawlor in the 1920s. The central cashel has the round tower remains, a ruined church with a sun-dial, and a graveyard. The second cashel contains what is called a 'monastic school' or workshop and other burials.

The canonical sundial now seen at one corner of the ruined church was reconstructed from fragments found during the excavation of the site in 1924 and has been dated to about the year 900. One of only a few early medieval sun-dials known to exist, it takes the form of a vertical stone pillar, 190 cm high, 40 cm wide and 15 cm thick, with the dial and gnomon on one face at the top. However, because of the nature of the reconstruction, the original height of the pillar is conjectural.


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Founded: 7th century AD
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iwan Egerström (7 months ago)
An amazing site with a nice view of the surroundings. Visited the place twice in 2023, and hopefully there will be more visits ?
Russell King (7 months ago)
Kinda cool for the age and history but only one or two signs with any info and all overgrown with thick grass. Mainly used for people walking dogs off leash
Rohan (9 months ago)
Had a nice experience. Not touristy but historic. No tickets
David Blair (9 months ago)
Been visiting this site for 40 years and it still has an historic and humbling alure. Beautiful location.
judith brown (2 years ago)
This is a remarkable and historic site in a setting of great natural beauty. You can really feel the presence of the religious communities that lived here. There is an excellent exhibition of the history of the site, but check for opening times before you go if you want to see it. Otherwise, there are good information panels round the site. The Celtic Christians put their monasteries in beautiful but inaccessible places, and it is still not easy to get to along narrow and twisty country roads. May not be suitable for large vehicles such as motor homes, though I have been there in a coach before. Parking is also quite limited. If you are visiting, please respect the natural and spiritual serenity of the site.
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