Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Neath

1130: Foundation

Neath was founded as a Savigniac house by Richard de Granville and Constance.

The new community arrived at Neath on 25 October under Abbot Richard (d. 1145).
Richard de Granville's endowment included a substantial amount of undeveloped land ('waste') between the rivers Neath and Tawe. This may have been as much as 26sq km.

People associated with this event

Richard de Granville (Grainville), baron (founder)

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, I, 940-1216, ed. D. Knowles, C. Brooke and V. London (London, 1972; 2001) pp. 138, 272

Cartae et alia munimenta quae ad dominium de Glamorgancia pertinent, 6 vols, ed. G. T. Clark, revised G. L. Clark (Cardiff, 1910) vol. 1, 74-6

'Annals of Margam 1066-1232', in Annales Monastici, 1, Rolls Series, 36, 5 vols, ed. H. R. Luard (London, 1864; repr. 1965) p. 13

Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, ed. R. Neville Hadcock and David Knowles (Harlow, 1971) p. 122

Butler, Lawrence A. S., 'The foundation charter of Neath Abbey', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 148 (2001 for 1999), pp. 214-216

Robinson, David M., The Cistercians in Wales: Architecture and Archaeology 1130-1540, Society of Antiquaries of London, Research Committee Report (London, 2006) p. 261

Wilcox, M., 'The foundation charter of Neath Abbey', Annual Report of the Glamorgan County Archivist (1990), pp. 17-18

Web links (open in new window)

Image of the foundation charter of Neath Abbey, 1130 (View website)

Image of the foundation charter of Neath Abbey (reverse) (View website)

Archival sources

West Glamorgan Archive Service, 'Neath Abbey Charters - foundation charter', (Document), (View website)

Other events in the history of this site

1130Foundation - Neath was founded as a Savigniac house by Richard de Granville and Constance.  [9 sources][1 archives]
1147A change of order - The Savigniac Order joined the Cistercian family and Neath duly became an abbey of Cistercian monks.  [1 sources]
c.1196Relocation - The uncertainty of the monks' situation at Neath prompted them to consider relocating to Exford, Somerset. [3 sources]
c.1200Episcopal confirmation - Henry of Abergavenny, bishop of Llandaff, probably issued his charter concerning the abbey's lands in Llandaff soon after the monks' failure to relocate to Somerset.  [1 sources][1 archives]
1207Royal confirmation - The community acquired charters of confirmation from King John. [4 sources]
1210Royal visitor - King John stopped off at the house en route to Ireland (Friday 21 May). [1 sources]
1224Destruction - One of Neath's houses was destroyed by the rebel, Morgan Gam, lord of Afan. [2 sources]
c.1250Deposition - Abbot Robert was removed from office and excommunicated. [1 sources]
1269Internal problems - Abbot Adam of Carmarthen (c. 1266-89) wrote to the General Chapter concerning the conduct of certain lay-brothers of Neath. [3 sources]
c.1280Building work - The monks began to build a new church. [1 sources]
1284Royal visit - Edward I visited the abbey. [2 sources]
1289Agreement - The abbey made an agreement with its patron, Earl Gilbert de Clare. [3 sources]
c.1291Wealth - At this time Neath was one of the richest houses in medieval Wales.  [4 sources]
1316Destruction - Neath was reputedly devastated during the rebellion of Llywelyn Bren. [3 sources]
1326Royal fugitive - Edward II sought refuge at Neath from 4-10 November, while moving around Wales for his safety. [2 sources]
1336Royal confirmation - Edward III responded to the abbot of Neath's request to confirm the abbey's grants and privileges. [4 sources]
c.1405Destruction - Neath suffered extensively during the Glyn Dŵr rebellion. [3 sources]
1424-1441Recovery - Under Abbot Thomas Franklin, Neath enjoyed a period of recovery leading to prosperity. [2 sources]
1468Confirmation - Richard Neville, earl of Warwick and lord of Glamorgan, issued the community a significant charter confirming all its privileges and resources from the twelfth century. [3 sources]
c.1500Abbatial suite - The southern end of the dormitory and refectory was modified to make a private suite for the abbot.  [1 sources]
1510-1539Reputation - Under Abbot Leyshon Thomas, Neath enjoyed a lofty reputation. [2 sources]
c.1535Wealth - According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus the abbey had a net annual income of £132 7s 7d. [3 sources]
1539Dissolution - In February the house was suppressed. [3 sources]