Nendrum Monastic Site

The best example in Northern Ireland of a pre Norman monastic enclosure.

About this church

Nendrum is thought to have been set up by St Machaoi in the 5th century but also has links to St Patrick.

The monastery consists of three round dry stone walled enclosures, one within the other. There is evidence of industrial works in the outer enclosure; a central enclosure with a church ruin and sundial, the remains of a round tower and a graveyard. The middle enclosure has the remains of huts and workshops. It is thought to be the best example of a pre Norman monastic site in Northern Ireland.

To reach the island, follow signs from Comber, and keep going. Have faith, as the causeways from the mainland to Reagh Island, and from there to Mahee Island, can apparently be crossed even at high tide (although we recommend checking and planning around the tide times). There is a Visitor Centre which houses interactive and graphic displays, models, artefacts and videos.

Enjoy a virtual tour of Nendrum Monastic Site here.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard
  • Car park at church
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Church shop or souvenirs

Other nearby churches


Grey Abbey

Along with Inch Abbey, Greyabbey is the best example of Anglo-Norman Cistercian architecture in Ulster and was the daughter house of Holm Cultram in Cumbria.


St Patrick

St Patrick’s is situated at the gateway to the Ards Peninsula in Newtownards and built in 1877 by Lady Londonderry.


Portico Church

One of the best Greek Revival buildings in Great Britain and Ireland.

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