Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow. It is in Wales, but only just: it is on the bank of the River Wye, and over the river is Gloucestershire. It is the second Cistercian abbey to be founded in Britain, three years after Waverley in Surrey. Most of what is visible today dates from the rebuilding in the late 13th century. The location is very beautiful, and has inspired both artists and poets.



Tintern in art

A and E Ellis.

J W M Turner
 . . .  and in poetry. 

THE MEN who called their passion piety,
And wrecked this noble argosy of faith,—
They little thought how beauteous could be death,
How fair the face of time’s aye-deepening sea!
Nor arms that desolate, nor years that flee,
Nor hearts that fail, can utterly deflower
This grassy floor of sacramental power,
Where we now stand communicants,—even we,
We of this latter, still protestant age,
With priestly ministrations of the sun
And moon and multitudinous quire of stars,
Maintain this consecration, and assuage
With tender thoughts the past of weary wars,
Masking with good that ill which cannot be undone.

                    Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton

On to Fountains Abbey

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