Religious and Cultural Sites

Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey

Photograph of Our Lady of Bethelehem Abbey, Portglenone

Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey belongs to a story of almost a thousand years. It is part of the Cistercian Order which was founded in France at Cîteaux in Burgundy in the year 1098. The document outlining the constitution of the Order is known as the Charter of Love. Taking it’s inspiration from the Rule of St Benedict (RB) the cistercian life was to be one of secluded communal intercession, contemplative prayer with manual work given it’s prominent position.

The original Monastery was in what is known as Portglenone House, which is now the Reception and Guest House. The house was built at the beginning of the 1800’s and it was bought by the Cistercians in 1948. Despite some additions the House proved too small for what was then a growing community and so the new Monastery was built during the 1960’s.

The grounds comprise of 295 acres (120 hectares) of which about 140 acres (57 hectares) are arable.

The Monastery itself is on the outskirts of the village of Portglenone and so is widely accessible by public transport and is convenient to local amenities.

Open Mon-Sun 9.00am - 5.00pm FREE access.

T: 028 2582 1341


Bethlehem Abbey, 11 Ballymena Rd, Portglenone, Ballymena BT44 8BL, UK