Monastic Wales.

Remnants of Caldey Priory

The church of St Mary and St Illtyd on Caldey Island was formerly the priory church of the Tironensian community that occupied the site in the Middle Ages. A small cloister and its associated ranges stood to the north of the church.
Following the suppression of the priory in the sixteenth century the conventual buildings were incorporated into a secular residence. In the late eighteenth century a new mansion house was built near to the priory and the monastic buildings were converted into ancillary buildings to serve the residence. Despite these changes much survives of the monastic ranges - the domestic range on the north; a gatehouse on the west (upper level) and a two-storey east range which housed warming house and kitchen on the ground level and the monks’ dormitory. A semi-fortified tower occupied the north-east corner of this range and is known as the ‘Prior’s tower’; it is thought to be the oldest part of the priory standing.

The church of St Mary and St Illtyd dates to the thirteenth century but the building was modified later in the Middle Ages, remodelled in the late eighteenth century and restored in the nineteenth century. The presbytery and sanctuary occupy the east end of the church; a cusped thirteenth-century piscina survives in the south wall of the chancel; there is a small tower with a fourteenth-century spire in the west.

[1] Coflein database; Cooper, Abbeys and Priories, pp. 45-46; Caldey Abbey website:

Monastic sites related to this article

Caldey, Pembrokeshire(Priory)