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But these austerities attracted rather than repelled; crowds came to share his penances and his vigils; they also came for learning, for Bangor soon became the greatest monastic school in Ulster.
Within the extensive rampart which encircled its monastic buildings, the Scriptures were expounded, theology and logic taught, and geometry, and arithmetic, and music; the beauties of the pagan classics were appreciated, and two at least of its students wrote good Latin verse.
The lands passed into the hands of laymen, the buildings crumbled, and when St.
Malachy, in the twelfth century, became Abbot of Bangor he had to build everything anew.
Patrick once rested there and saw the valley filled with angels. Comgall, born in Antrim in 517, and educated at Clooneenagh and Clonmacnoise.Sometimes the name was written "Beannchor", from the Irish word beann, a horn.According to Keating, a king of Leinster once had cattle killed there, the horns being scattered round, hence the name.An irregular succession of Catholic abbots was still kept up, the last being Abbot Mac Cormack, who lived in France, but, returning to Ireland during the Reign of Terror, found a refuge at Maynooth College and died there in the early years of the nineteenth century.Among the Abbots of Bangor few acquired fame, but many of the students did.