Tintern Abbey Church




N 52° 14' 12.0"   W 006° 50' 16.8"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 79434 10018

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Friday 28 May 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The abbey from the car park.

We already tried to visit this abbey on June 2nd, 2001, but at that time the abbey was closed to the visitors for the foot-and-mouth disease.
We only took a photo or two from the car park and went away.
The Tintern abbey was founded in the 13th century by William Marshall, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. While he was sailing to Ireland he encountered a storm and his ship was about to be wrecked. He vowed to found a monastery if he had landed safe and sound whatever place it was. He reached the Bannow estuary and true to his vow he acquired about 9,000 acres of land to found a Cistercian abbey.
The abbey was colonized by the monks called from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, Wales, of which Marshall was also patron.
To distinguish the two abbeys, the mother house in Wales was sometimes known as "Tintern Major" and the newly founded abbey in Ireland as "Tintern de Voto" (Latin for Tintern of the vow).
After its foundation, Tintern acquired large plots of land in county Wexford and at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in 1530's, it seems to have been the third richest Cistercian abbey in Ireland (after St. Mary's in Dublin and Mellifont).
Shortly after, Tintern Abbey and its lands were granted to Anthony Colclough from Staffordshire, an officer in Henry VIII's army.
The Colclough family extensively modified the abbey church, converting the crossing tower and later, the nave, the chancel and the Lady Chapel to domestic quarters. In the 18th century Sir Vesey Colclough built many of the fine battlemented walls that we can see around the abbey today.
The tower has a modern timber staircase leading to the upper floor, but the rest of the tower is unaccessible. The windows of the former chancel had been internally decorated with beautiful ecclesiastic figures originally placed somewhere else in the church.

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