Tintern Abbey is the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales

Tintern Abbey, dating from 1131, is one of Wales’ most important ruins. It is a Cistercian monastery in Monmouthshire, England, near the settlement of Tintern. It was the first Cistercian institution in Wales, and it has become synonymous with Romantic literature and art.

Because of its beauty, many poets and artists, including Turner and Wordsworth, visited the Abbey during the Romantic period. It is a popular tourist site with an interesting history. It is located amid the midst of the Wye Valley, an internationally protected region that straddles the boundary between Wales and England.

The abbey was created by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, who was the first cousin of William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester. Clare welcomed the first Cistercians to Waverley in 1128, when they arrived from L’Aumone Abbey in France, a daughter house of Citeaux.

In the 12th century, the Cistercian monks were one of the most prosperous orders. The Tintern order followed the Rule of St. Benedict and derived their main precepts from the Carta Caritatis. The abbey’s current ruins are from numerous building works between 1136 and 1536, and there are relatively few remains of the earliest structures.

It was destroyed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. Monastic life in England, Ireland, and Wales was abolished by King Henry VIII. The Cistercian way of life, which had lasted 400 years, came to an end on September 3, 1536, when Abbot Wyche opened the monastery to the King’s visitors. The structure was given to Henry Somerset, the 2nd Earl of Worcester.

The abbey became popular in the 17th and 18th centuries for its romantic qualities and was frequently visited. On the site, many poetry was written and artworks were created. Nathaniel and Samuel Buck created one of the first etched engravings of the Abbey in 1732.

The Rev. William Gilpin’s book “Observations on the River Wye,” published in 1770, increased the number of visitors.

The poet William Wordsworth wrote “Lines penned a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on revisiting the banks of the Wye during a journey, July 13, 1798” about the spot. The abbey does not appear in the poem, but it is mentioned. Sophia F. Ziegenhirt, another novelist who was inspired by the abbey, used it as the setting for her horror book “The Orphan of Tintern Abbey.”

Other artists that visited this spectacular area include Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Girtin, who drew varied drawings of the abbey’s masonry, and Benjamin Williams Leader, Samuel Palmer, and John Warwick Smith, who painted the entire Abbey from a distance.

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