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Llanthony Priory

December 31, 2010

Llanthony Priory is a special place. Nestled in the sheep-dotted Vale of Ewyas, it couldn’t have a more atmospheric setting. Giraldus Cambrensis described the area as “ a situation truly calculated for religion”. Foggy conditions added to the drama when we visited.

The Priory dates to the early 12th century. It was founded by a Norman nobleman, William de Lacy and Ersinius, a former Chaplain to Queen Matilda. The two hermits attracted a band of followers and a church was built on the site. Later, the number of monks grew to around 40 and they adopted the Rule of St. Augustine, becoming one of the earliest houses of Augustine canons in Britain.

In 1135, tensions between the Normans and the local Welsh population led to a daughter cell, Llanthony Secunda, being founded in Gloucester. The priory’s valuables were removed there and the fortunes of the mother house seemed to dwindle. The rebellion of Owain Glyndwr in the early 15th century further diminished the priory’s standing. The priory was dissolved under Henry VIII and the remaining monks received pensions. Over the following centuries, the priory decayed and became a ruin. In the 18th century, a house was built within the ruins. It is now a hotel.

St. David’s Church stands adjacent to the ruins and has it’s origins in the sixth century. It is a simple, peaceful place.

Beautiful surroundings, atmospheric ruins and a 12th Century Bar (!) make Llanthony a wonderful place to visit. Oh, and there’s plenty of good spots for playing Hide and Seek…..

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2010 4:18 pm

    I love your first photo with the mist shrouding the mountains in the background, and, of course, the last one of your daughter playing hide and seek. Ruins are adventure playgrounds for the young … and not so young. I remember taking some very silly photos of friends during a visit to the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. December 31, 2010 4:50 pm

    Stunning pictures – happy New Year to you too and the warmest of wishes for 2011.

    Nina xxx

  3. January 1, 2011 12:29 am

    Such fabulous places you have to explore. Thank you for sharing.. we have no such relics.. have many trees tho..
    your little girl is surely growing up.. so sweet..
    Happy new year to you and your family!

  4. January 1, 2011 1:53 am

    wow- how amazing. I esp love the shot of your little one:)

  5. January 1, 2011 1:55 am

    I just gazed at your blog a bit more…I am in LOVE! can;t wait to see your future posts!

    • January 1, 2011 12:00 pm

      Thank you – that’s a lovely comment to start 2011 with. 🙂

  6. January 1, 2011 10:35 am

    what a gorgeous place… happy new year!

  7. February 8, 2011 9:17 pm

    Just stunning! Site and pictures. I so miss that about England… you just stumble on beautiful ancient sites. Now I’m beside myself because we used to live in Stroud, been to Gloucester many times, explored quite a bit of the region and never new about Llanthony Priory 😦
    Go figure… next time we’re in the region I know where to visit!
    Luciana

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