Fore Abbey

Collinstown, Westmeath

The village of Fore is in a valley between two hills. Here you will see the ancient ruins of a Christian monastery. Fore is “the town of the springs” and was named after St. Fechin’s spring, which is beside the old church. It was St. Fechin who founded the ancient Fore Abbey around 630 A.D. By 665 A.D. (the time of the yellow plague) there were 300 monks living in the community. Between 771 and 1169 A.D. Fore was burnt 12 times. An important aspect of Fore is the “Fore Crosses” one of which is in the village of Fore. There are 18 crosses; some crosses are plain whilst others are carved. These are spread out over 10km on roadways and in fields and beared witness to religious persecution during penal times. Over looking Lough Lene is Slieveboy hill and “Gallagher’s Moteens” which are Bronze Age graves. These are Cist graves, which succeeded the Communal burial chambers of the New Stone Age.

St. Fechin is known for performing miracles, which are known as the “7 Wonders of Fore”:

  1. The monastery was built on a bog
  2. The mill had no water so St. Fechin touched it and water poured out. Mill was used as late as 1875
  3. The tree that won’t burn which refers to 3 branches that represent the trinity
  4. Water that won’t boil refers to the water in St. Fechin’s well
  5. Anchorite in a stone refers to the Hermits who occupied the Anchorite’s cell, the last occupant dwelt here in 1616
  6. Water flows uphill refers to an underground flow of water that appears to flow uphill
  7. Stone raised by St. Fechin’s prayers refers to a stone above the doorway of St. Fechin’s Church that he supposedly raised

Fore Abbey is located near the village of Fore which is 4 km east of Castlepollard in County Westmeath.

Getting There

Collinstown, Westmeath

The information provided was correct (to the best of our knowledge) as at 30 December 2022.