'Remarkably beautiful' Fore features in UK newspaper

Fore Abbey is one of Ireland's "best unsung castles and abbeys of Ireland", according to an article in one of the UK's most read papers.

The north Westmeath monastic site was one of eight "off the radar" historic locations around the country included in an article by Vic O'Sullivan that was published on The Guardian's online edition earlier this week.

O'Sullivan wrote: The seven wonders of Fore relate to the construction stage of Fore Abbey and strange manifestations in the local landscape, from rivers flowing uphill to the boggy terrain that carried the foundation. These days, it’s hard to imagine that this network of ruins in a remote valley was once a thriving centre of education, home to 300 monks and thousands of students. Best guess has it that this medieval monastic complex was established by St Féichín in 630. He died, along with a good portion of his flock, from yellow fever some years later, which brings us to a first anomaly.

The seventh miracle occurred, apparently, when St Féichín raised a two-tonne stone doorway lintel into place by the power of prayer in the 10th century – when he had been dead some time. Despite the time travel issues, the lintel remains in place to this day. Other idiosyncratic features include a hermit’s cell and a fine cloister arcade built later as part of a Benedictine priory by landlord Hugh De Lacy, who also constructed Trim Castle (a setting for the movie Braveheart) about 20 miles away. A marked trail around Fore covers most of the sights, and it is a remarkably beautiful setting. In Fore village is something else that hasn’t changed in a while – the Seven Wonders Pub.