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Site of Aberconwy Abbey, Maenan

A Scheduled Monument in Llanddoged and Maenan (Llanddoged a Maenan), Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1743 / 53°10'27"N

Longitude: -3.8123 / 3°48'44"W

OS Eastings: 278967

OS Northings: 365671

OS Grid: SH789656

Mapcode National: GBR 63.44F9

Mapcode Global: WH65Q.DGWT

Entry Name: Site of Aberconwy Abbey, Maenan

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3398

Cadw Legacy ID: CN082

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Abbey

Period: Medieval

County: Conwy

Community: Llanddoged and Maenan (Llanddoged a Maenan)

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

Description

Maenan Abbey. The Cistercian abbey of Aberconwy, which was established in the last decade of the 12th century by monks from Strata Florida (Cards.) and received its principal charter from Llywelyn the Great as prince of North Wales, was removed to Maenan by Edward I in 1283 in order to make room for his new castle and town of Conway. In compensation they were granted the township (villa) of Maenan, with exceptional privileges, and were assisted to build a new monastery, henceforward known either by that name or by the old name, Aberconwy or Conway Abbey. It was thoroughly demolished at the Dissolution, timber and stone being taken to Caernarvon for the royal buildings there. Window tracery and other details appear to have been utilised at Gwydir Castle also.

The subsequent house called Maenan Abbey, built from the old materials, is now represented only by a tablet with the date 1654 and the initials of John and Dorothy Wynne (of Melai, Co. Denbigh), and by an inscribed sundial top of 1662, now in Rapallo House Museum, Llandudno.

There are no structural remains now visible on the site (with the exception of the medieval doorway built into the garden wall east of the hotel). The evidence put forward by Butler would seem to suggest that the cloister would have lain to the north of the church with the conventual buildings arranged around it. This would place them underneath and west of the present hotel. However no remains were found in the old orchard, now the caravan park, which places some doubt on this interpretation.

The removal of the stone and timber from the abbey to repair Caernarfon castle and town walls, as well as the later house building in the C17 and C19 would appear to have destroyed nearly all traces of the abbey remains.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the medieval period. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structures themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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