Monastic Wales.








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Tintern (Abbey)

also known as: Tintern; Abaty Tyndyrn

Order: Cistercian

Tintern was the first Cistercian foundation in Wales and the second in Britain, after Waverley. It was founded by the Anglo-Norman magnate, Walter fitz Richard (Clare), who was lord of Chepstow. Tintern was one of the few monasteries in Wales that was untouched by the Edwardian wars, probably as it was comparatively remote and away from the main area of fighting.

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Dedicated to: Virgin Mary Medieval Diocese: Llandaff
Affiliated to: L'Aumone, France (mother-house); Kingswood, Glos (daughter-house); Tintern Parva, Ireland, (daughter-house)
Lordship at foundation: Striguil
Access: Public
Owned by: Cadw [http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/tinternabbey/?lang=en]

Main events in the history of this site

1131Foundation - Tintern was the first Cistercian house to be founded in Wales and was colonised by monks from l'Aumone which was itself a daughter house of Citeaux. [1 source]
1139Founds daughter-house - Tintern founded its first daughter-house at Kingswood, Glos. [1 source]
1169-88Dispute - Tintern was engaged in a dispute with the Cistercians of Waverley. This was under Abbot William (resigned 1188). [1 source]
c.1188Breach of rules - The Cistercians were originally prohibited from receiving tithes yet the monks of Tintern accepted a grant of tithes from Woolaston and the chepel of Alvington, Gloucestershire. [1 source]
1189Patronage - William Marshal became lord of Chepstow and as such took on the patronage of Tintern. [1 source]
1200Founds daughter-house - Tintern founded a second daughter-house; this was Tintern Parva in Ireland. [4 sources][1 archive]
1220Burial - William Marshal's widow, Isabel de Clare, was buried at Tintern. [2 sources]
1223-1224Patronage - William Marshal's son, William the Younger (d. 1231), succeeded his father as patron of Tintern and was a generous benefactor.  [1 source]
1245Burial - Walter and Anselm, the sons of William Marshal and Isabel de Clare, were buried at Tintern. [1 source]
1245Patronage - Patronage of Tintern passed to the Bigod family. [1 source]
c.1247Resources - Soon after this date the chapel and lands at Magor, in Monmouth, were leased to Tintern. [1 source]
1248Burial - Matilda Marshal, William Marshal (I)'s daughter, was buried at Tintern, where her mother and two of her brothers lay. Her heart was buried at Lewes Priory. [1 source]
1282Fine - The abbey was fined the significant sum of £112 for illicitly felling trees in 200 acres of the royal forest at Woolaston. [1 source]
c.1291Wealth - According to the Taxatio Ecclesiastica the monastery had over 3000 acres of arable, over 3000 sheep and its possessions were estimated at c. £145. [4 sources]
1302Patronage - Roger Bigod IV, earl of Norfolk (d. 1306) was a generous benefactor and granted the monks of Tintern his entire manor of Acle, Norfolk. [1 source]
1326Royal visitor - Edward II took refuge at the house when fleeing Roger Mortimer's army; he spent two nights at Tintern. [1 source]
1340Debt - The monastery was in debt to the sum of £174 to the Italian merchants of Lucca. [1 source]
1395Numbers - At this time there were fourteen monks at Tintern living with their abbot, John Wysbech. [1 source]
1469Burial - William Herbert, Edward IV's Welsh 'master lock', was buried at Tintern. [2 sources]
1478Visit - William of Worcester, antiquary and traveller, stayed at the house from Friday 4 September until Monday 7 September.  [1 source]
c.1535Wealth - The survey - the Valor Ecclesiasticus - estimated Tintern's annual net income to be £192. [3 sources]
1536Dissolution - Tintern was dissolved under the 1536 Act of Suppression on 3 September 1536. [3 sources][1 archive]
+ 18 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Abbots of Tintern

Walter de Clare; Walter Fitz Richard , baron; lord of Chepstow (founder)

William Herbert , Earl of Pembroke (burial)

William Marshal , fourth earl of Pembroke (patron)

William Marshal the Younger, fifth earl of Pembroke (patron)

William of Worcester; William of Worcestre; William Botoner , author and topographer

Bibliographical sources

113 Printed sources

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14 On-line sources

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Archival sources

Canterbury Cathedral Archives, 'Abbatial seal, Tintern Abbey, attached to letter from Tintern (Ireland) to the Canterbury monks', (Document), (View website)

British Library, 'Agreement between the abbeys of Margam and Llantarnam', (Document), (View website)

British Library, 'Continuation of the Flores Historiarum (an abridgement of Matthew Paris' Chronica Maiora)', (Document), (View website)

British Library, 'Copy of William Marshal's bequest of land to found Tintern Parva, Co. Wexford', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives, 'Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Ancient Deeds, Series D - demise of weir to Tintern', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives and Kings College London, 'Fine Roll C 60/11, 3 Henry III', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives, 'Special Collections: Ministers' and Receivers' Accounts - possessions of Tintern (post Dissolution', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Wales, 'Tintern Abbey Bible', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

Remnants of Tintern Abbey,
The Cistercians in Wales, Professor Janet Burton
Who were the Cistercians?, Professor Janet Burton

Images of this site

Church at Tintern Abbey

Cloisters, Tintern Abbey

Cupboard in the refectory, Tintern Abbey


Doorway, Tintern Abbey

Groundplan of Tintern Abbey, Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright)

Nave of the church at Tintern showing the clustered piers


Nave of the church at Tintern, looking towards the west end

Night stairs at Tintern Abbey (north transept of the church)

North Aisle Transept, Tintern Abbey


North transept, abbey church at Tintern

Refectory, Tintern Abbey

Roof Boss, Tintern Abbey


Roof Boss, Tintern Abbey

South transept, abbey church of St Mary the Virgin, Tintern

Tintern Abbey church


Tintern Abbey from the south

Tintern Abbey from the warming house

Tintern Abbey warming house and day stair


Tintern Abbey, interior of church

Tintern Abbey, looking to church from the cloister

Tintern Abbey, monks' refectory


Tintern Abbey, north transept

Tintern Abbey, north transept

Tintern Abbey, north transept of church and site of the monks' dormitory


View of infirmary, Tintern Abbey

West processional doorway, abbey church of St Mary the Virgin, Tintern

North transept, abbey church at Tintern

Monmouthshire, OS Grid:SO533000
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