Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio, Wales
Not really a Church this weekend but an Abbey. It is Valle Crusis Abbey and can be found in a deep sheltered valley at Llantysilio near to Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales.
Built circa 1201 under the instruction and sponsorship of Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor the Prince of Powys Fadog it was a Cistercian Monastery. For much of its working life the Abbey was prosperous and productive agriculture centre and the main occupation of the inhabitants who numbered maybe a couple of hundred at its height. It survived the bitter and bloody Welsh Wars of the 13century and later the Abbey also enjoyed a reputation for a welcoming hospitality for travellers and the needy.
Its downfall was in 1537 and the Dissolution of the Monasteries on the order of Henry VIII. After that it became and remains a ruin (though part of the Chapter House was later converted for a time to Manor House).
We are lucky that the main structure still survives which allows us to gain a true feeling of the original size of Valle Crucis as well as much of the detailed stone Tracery, Vaulting and Corbelling. The Abbey is now well cared for by CADW the Welsh Heritage Organisation with a rather good exhibition centre telling the story of Valle Crucis.
(C) David Oakes 2017