Tintern Abbey was established by Walter fitz Richard de Clare, the Anglo-Norman lord of Chepstow, on May 9, 1131. This was only the second centre to be established by the Cistercians throughout the British Isles, and this is where the order brought its new and innovative kind of monasticism to Wales. The original community of 13 'white monks' came to the Wye valley from the French abbey of l'Aumône (Loir-et-Cher), a branch — or 'a daughter'— to the great mother-abbey of the Order at Cîteaux in Burgundy. The site that was chosen for the new abbey, in this relatively remote and wooded part of the valley, far from the world's clamour, is typical of a Cistercian site. It was also essential that the young community could secure land in order to thrive. Fortunately, Walter de Clare had given the monks a significant estate on both the Welsh and English banks of the Wye. Wherever possible, this land was organized into typical compact farms of the kind preferred by early Cistercians.
These farms were called manors. During the twelfth century, the abbey's army of lay brothers would have been busy creating areas for arable farming, building farm buildings, cutting woodland, and draining coastal marshland to improve production levels. A clear sign of its success was that Tintern Abbey had established its own branch, in Kingswood, Gloucestershire, in 1139.
Published 2016 / 8 pages / ISBN 978-1-8576-331-6
Size 150mm (w) x 210mm (h) Welsh language
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