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The history of Bective dates back to mythological times. The River Boyne flows through Bective from where stories of Fionn Mac Cumhail and the Salmon of Knowledge originated. The character Corigonus in my first book, The Wisdom of Oracles, was inspired by the Salmon of Knowledge.

Clady Bridge, said to be the oldest bridge in Ireland, is located nearby where the Clady River enters the majestic River Boyne. Upriver is Bective Abbey built in 1150. It was the second Cistercian Abbey in Ireland after Mellifont, was founded by Murchadh O’Maelsheachlainn King of Meath and at its height housed up to 35 monks and 50 lay brothers. King Henry VIII closed the abbey in 1537 during the suppression.

Bolton Family Tree


Bective Church

A quote from Wart’s Annals ‘the last abbot John Englishe was found to be in possession of a church, hall and cloister with certain chambers and other buildings, together with 205 acres of arable land, 7 of meadow and 33 of pasture in the town land of Bective, being the domain of the Abbey, also a water mill and fishing weir all valued at £19. 6s. 8d. as well as other land valued at £61.11s. 8d.

The body of Hugh De Lacy is buried here (his head is buried in St Thomas’ Abbey Dublin). In 1639 Richard Bolton, the cruelest soldier in Cromwell’s army took over Bective and it remained in the Bolton family for 200 years. Lady Diana Spencer and the current princes royal, William and Harry are descendants of the Bolton family.


Bective Abbey
Abbey Cloisters


Clady Graveyard Entrance

In 1851 another descendent, also Richard Bolton, built Bective Church. The wall memorial in the church describes him as ‘a good landlord, a kind and generous friend, a tender and loving husband who built and endowed this church to promote the worship of God’.

Bective House

The famous Cork architect Joseph Welland designed this cut stone Victorian building in a plain Gothic style complete with bell tower, buttresses, arched windows and crypt. It was later owned by The Church of Ireland and sold to me in 1994.


I converted the church into Boyne Art Studio and later changed the name to The House of Art.  In 2009 I opened Art Now Gallery with master artist Tony McGrath in Navan Shopping Centre as an extension to the gallery and ran it for a short while.   I now operate exclusively from The House of Art, Bective, where both the Wisdom of Oracles and Trick’r Truth were written.

At home with my wife Kinga

Over the past few years The House of Art has featured in several films including two by Writer/Director Philip Ledingham one being his short film of me. Gluton-free Jesus is from Writer/Director Peter Melrose. Maurice O’Carroll is director of the latest film Sucking Diesel.

Crew of Gluton-Free Jesus