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61g. Tintern Abbey, Saltmills

SCENES from Southeast IRELAND

The RING OF HOOK - places to visit

The Hook Peninsula, County Wexford

Ring of Hook Index

Tintern Abbey, Co. Wexford, is the sister to Tintern Abbey in Wales, and a Cistercian Abbey founded around 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, Lord of Leinster.

The initial Cistercian monks came from the sister Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, Wales.

The substantial and partially restored ruin consists of the nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister.

It was partly converted into living quarters in 1541 in the aftermath of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and subsequent further developments.

The Abbey was actually occupied by the Colclough family from the 16th century until the 20th century - the 1960s in fact!

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The beautiful setting of Tintern Abbey by Tintern Stream

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: View from the north-west: the buttressed chancel, the tower and the arches of the nave.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The exterior north walls of the chancel and tower. The pointed arch would have been where the north transept was.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The tourist entrance to the abbey.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: One of the added 18th century castellated towers.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The nave, tower and Lady Chapel beyond where the south transept would have been, just the 'ghost' of a large pointed arch is left in the south lower half of the tower wall.

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The Lady Chapel and the Chancel. The fine battlemented walls around the abbey were built by Sir Vesey Colclough in the 18th century.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: Nave, tower and Lady Chapel.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: View of Tintern from the picnic and cafe area. Where the nun is sitting would have been part of the Cloister Garth - the Abbey garden. The church was originally a cruciform shape but the only standing remains are the chancel, crossing tower, the centre aisle of the nave and the Lady Chapel of the south transept, all of which date to around 1300 when a major reorganisation of the abbey took place and the buildings of the original ~1200 buildings were largely replaced.

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: Detail of the nave arches.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The gaping hole of the east window of the chancel, but still some of the fine carving of the 'stone window frame' can still be seen. The windows on the left will be from later occupation.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The carved figure at the top of the chancel's east window ...

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

... and on the left two other carvings in the chancel, the middle picture is that of another ecclesiastical figure.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The new window in the chancel after the style of the medieval stone masons.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: Under the tower are numerous reminders of long-gone sections of the Abbey, e.g. the transepts and later adaptations for domestic living.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: An old medieval? Christian gravestone.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The fireplace in the chancel, a remnant of when the Colclough family converted the tower, chancel, nave and Lady Chapel into domestic quarters in the late 16th century. The last member of the Colclough family to live in the abbey was Lucey Marie Biddulph Colclough who only finally left in 1959.

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The lovely stone ribbed vaulting of the Lady Chapel.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: Left: Some traces of the fine stone carving from the original abbey.

Tintern Abbey: Right: A simple model of how Tintern Abbey once looked.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: Some of the 18 grotesque medieval carved heads high up on the north wall of the chancel corbel table.

See three detailed pictures below too.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Abbey: The very nice cafe at Tintern Abbey - the monks would have approved!

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

The 18th century battlemented Tintern Bridge over the inlet into which Tintern Stream runs, part of Bannow Bay.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Picture of Tintern Abbey from the south-west - nave, tower, Lady Chapel and Chancel.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

The few remains of an 18th century flourmill built in the 1790s by John Colclough.

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Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Tintern Bridge over Tintern Stream which spans the tidal inlet.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

The ruins of the old single cell medieval church south-east of Tintern Abbey.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

The church was largely rebuilt in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

 

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

Some of the original tracery of the medieval windows just about survives.

Tintern Abbey, Wexford, Ireland

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More on Tintern Abbey (from Wikipedia)

Tintern Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Tyndyrn) was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow. It is situated adjacent to the village of Tintern in Monmouthshire, on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, which at this location forms the border between Monmouthshire in Wales and Gloucestershire in England. It was the first Cistercian foundation in Wales, and only the second in Britain (after Waverley Abbey). The abbey fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. Its remains have been celebrated in poetry and painting from the 18th century onwards. In 1984, Cadw took over responsibility for managing the site. The Monmouthshire writer Fred Hando records the tradition of Tewdrig, King of Glywysing who retired to a hermitage above the river at Tintern, emerging to lead his son's army to victory against the Saxons at Pont-y-Saeson, a battle in which he was killed. The Cistercian Order was founded in 1098 at the abbey of Cîteaux. A breakaway faction of the Benedictines, the Cistercians sought to re-establish observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict. Considered the strictest of the monastic orders, they laid down requirements for the construction of their abbeys, stipulating that "none of our houses is to be built in cities, in castles or villages; but in places remote from the conversation of men. Let there be no towers of stone for bells, nor of wood of an immoderate height, which are unsuited to the simplicity of the order". The Cistercians also developed an approach to the Benedictine requirement for a dual commitment to pray and work that saw the evolving of a dual community, the monks and the lay brothers, illiterate workers who contributed to the life of the abbey and to the worship of God through manual labour. The order proved exceptionally successful and by 1151, five hundred Cistercian houses had been founded in Europe. The Carta Caritatis (Charter of Love) laid out their basic principles, of obedience, poverty, chastity, silence, prayer, and work. With this austere way of life, the Cistercians were one of the most successful orders in the 12th and 13th centuries. The lands of the Abbey were divided into agricultural units or granges, on which local people worked and provided services such as smithies to the Abbey. William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester introduced the first colony of Cistercian monks to England at Waverley, Surrey, in 1128. His first cousin, Walter de Clare, of the powerful family of Clare, established the second Cistercian house in Britain, and the first in Wales, at Tintern in 1131. The Tintern monks came from a daughter house of Cîteaux, L'Aumône Abbey, in the diocese of Chartres in France. In time, Tintern established two daughter houses, Kingswood in Gloucestershire (1139) and Tintern Parva, west of Wexford in southeast Ireland (1203). The present-day remains of Tintern are a mixture of building works covering a 400-year period between 1131 and 1536. Very little of the first buildings still survive today; a few sections of walling are incorporated into later buildings and the two recessed cupboards for books on the east of the cloisters are from this period. The church of that time was smaller than the present building, and slightly to the north. The Abbey was mostly rebuilt during the 13th century, starting with the cloisters and domestic ranges, and finally the great church between 1269 and 1301. The first mass in the rebuilt presbytery was recorded to have taken place in 1288, and the building was consecrated in 1301, although building work continued for several decades. Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, the then lord of Chepstow, was a generous benefactor; his monumental undertaking was the rebuilding of the church. The earl's coat of arms was included in the glasswork of the Abbey's east window in recognition of his contribution. It is this great Decorated Gothic abbey church that can be seen today, representing the architectural developments of its period; it has a cruciform plan with an aisled nave, two chapels in each transept, and a square-ended aisled chancel. The abbey is built of Old Red Sandstone, with colours varying from purple to buff and grey. Its total length from east to west is 228 feet, while the transept is 150 feet in length. King Edward II stayed at Tintern for two nights in 1326. When the Black Death swept the country in 1349, it became impossible to attract new recruits for the lay brotherhood; during this period, the granges were more likely to be tenanted out than worked by lay brothers, evidence of Tintern's labour shortage. In the early 15th century, Tintern was short of money, due in part to the effects of the Welsh uprising under Owain Glyndŵr against the English kings, when abbey properties were destroyed by the Welsh rebels. The closest battle to Tintern Abbey was at Craig-y-dorth near Monmouth, between Trellech and Mitchel Troy. The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking towards the East Window by J. M. W. Turner, 1794 In the reign of King Henry VIII, his Dissolution of the Monasteries ended monastic life in England, Wales and Ireland. On 3 September 1536, Abbot Wych surrendered Tintern Abbey and all its estates to the King's visitors and ended a way of life that had lasted 400 years. Valuables from the Abbey were sent to the royal Treasury and Abbot Wych was pensioned off. The building was granted to the then lord of Chepstow, Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester. Lead from the roof was sold and the decay of the buildings began.

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Ring of Hook Index

61a. Ballyhack and the Passage East Ferry 61b. Templetown 61c. Hook Head and Hook Lighthouse 61d. Slade Castle and Slade Harbour 61e. Baginbun Beach 61f. Fethard Castle 61g. Tintern Abbey, Saltmills 61h. Duncannon, Beach, Fort and Harbour

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