Monastic Wales.

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Grace Dieu (Abbey)

also known as: Grace Dieu

Order: Cistercian

Grace Dieu Abbey was founded by John, lord of Monmouth (d. 1248), and was the last Cistercian house to be established in Wales. The community struggled from its foundation until its dissolution and while the monks had properties on both sides of the Wye, Grace Dieu remained one of the poorest houses in Britain. show details of standing remains

Dedicated to: Virgin Mary Medieval Diocese: Llandaff
Affiliated to: Dore, Abbey Dore (mother-house)
Lordship at foundation: Monmouth
Access: Public; no remains above ground
Owned by: Scheduled site

Main events in the history of this site

1217Preparation for foundation - John, lord of Monmouth, requested permission from the Cistercian General Chapter to found an abbey in SE Wales. [4 sources]
1226 (24 April)Foundation - Eventually a founding community was sent from Dore Abbey, Herefordshire. [5 sources]
1232Trouble - The abbot and his monk companion were held captive by Welshmen. [1 source][1 archive]
1233Destruction - The house was razed to the ground.  [2 sources]
1235Grant - Henry III granted the monks twenty trees from the Forest of Dean to rebuild their house which had recently been destroyed. [2 sources]
1236Relocation - The community relocated from its original site (probably on west bank of the R. Trothy) to its present site [2 sources]
1240Grant - Henry III granted the community four oaks from Grosmont Forest to help with building work. [2 sources]
1253Grant - Henry III granted the community two oaks from Seinfremy Wood. [2 sources]
1276Proposed move - The community sought to relocate to escape troubles in the area. [2 sources]
c.1291Wealth - The house had an estimated net income of £18 5s 8d and some 729 ha arable under the plough. [4 sources]
1351Resignation - Abbot Hugh [or Roger?] of Chepstow sought to resign from office for he felt the burden of administering the monastery was too great.  [4 sources]
c.1356Patronage - Henry, duke of Lancaster and lord of Monmouth (d. 1361), granted the community the chantry chapel in Monmouth Castle. [2 sources]
1484Resignation - John Mitulton resigned from the abbacy on account of the persecution of his enemies. [2 sources]
1521Contributions to the General Chapter - The abbot of Neath collected a contribution of 3s 4d from Grace Dieu to send to the General Chapter. [1 source]
c.1535Wealth - According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus the house had an income of only £19 4s 4d.  [3 sources][1 archive]
1536 Suppression - The abbey was dissolved on 3 September 1536, under the 1536 Act of Suppression. [3 sources]
+ 13 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Abbots of Grace Dieu

Edmund, first earl of Lancaster (Edmund Crouchback) , lord of Monmouth (patron)

Henry III , king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine (benefactor)

Henry of Lancaster [Henry of Grosmont], first duke of Lancaster (patron)

John of Monmouth , lord of Monmouth (founder)

Bibliographical sources

31 Printed sources

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2 On-line sources

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Archival sources

Trinity College Dublin, 'Margam Chronicle', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

The Cistercians in Wales, Professor Janet Burton
Who were the Cistercians?, Professor Janet Burton

Monmouthshire, OS Grid:SO45121311
View site details on COFLEIN (RCAHMW database)[new window]