Tintern Abbey

Map Reference: S795100 (2795, 1100)

Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, as thanksgiving for a safe journey over rough seas. He colonised it with monks from Tintern in Monmouthshire. After the Suppression the abbey was granted to Anthony Colclough who transformed the chancel crossing into a four-storey tower-house. The transepts were demolished apart from the three east chapels in the south transept. The divisions between these chapels were removed and the arcade between the chapels and the transept were blocked up to create one long Lady Chapel. The aisles were removed from the nave and the chancel was converted into a two-storey wing. Some of the lancet windows in the chancel have been blocked up and others have been remodelled as three-light windows. Just under the eaves of the north and south walls is a corbel table of grotesque faces. The arches beneath the tower crossing were also blocked up. A spiral stairway was built at the north-west corner of the tower to give access to the higher levels. The storey above the Lady Chapel may be a 17th century addition. In the 19th century the nave was converted into a residence which was in use until the 1960s.

Interior of the Lady Chapel

Carving in the Lady Chapel

Since the 1980s extensive renovations have been carried out on the abbey. These include removal of the 19th century modifications to the nave. A wooden internal stairway has been built in the tower which gives access to the upper floors and the tower has been partly furnished. The added storey above the Lady Chapel is now a library and houses an exhibition related to the Colclough Family. It is acessible from the upper levels of the tower. The intermediate floor in the chancel has not been rebuilt. It has a fireplace at its upper level.

Interior of the modified chancel

The first floor of the tower

The upper levels of the tower

The west doorway

The turret containing the added spiral stairway

The tower showing the blocked arch

The modified chancel showing the inserted three-light windows

The grotesque heads at the chancel corbel table

For more examples of Cistercian Abbeys click the following links

Corcomroe, Co Clare Grey Abbey, Co Down Inch Abbey, Co Down Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway Duiske Abbey, Co Kilkenny Jerpoint, Co Kilkenny Monasteranenagh, Co Limerick Abbeylara, Co Longford Abbeyshrule, Co Longford Mellifont, Co Louth Bective, Co Meath Boyle, Co Roscommon Holy Cross, Co Tipperary Hore Abbey, Co Tipperary Kilcooly, Co Tipperary Dunbrody, Co Wexford Baltinglass, Co Wicklow

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