Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Whitland Abbey

A Scheduled Monument in Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

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Latitude: 51.8336 / 51°50'1"N

Longitude: -4.6023 / 4°36'8"W

OS Eastings: 220795

OS Northings: 218205

OS Grid: SN207182

Mapcode National: GBR D2.VM2P

Mapcode Global: VH2P2.55TN

Entry Name: Whitland Abbey

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1930

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2751

Cadw Legacy ID: CM014

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Abbey

Period: Medieval

County: Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

Community: Llanboidy

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire


The monument consists of the remains of an abbey; a Christian monastery under the government of an Abbot which dates to the medieval period. It is situated about 2km north of Whitland, in a wooded valley between the Afon Gronw and a small stream, Nant Colomendy. The Abbey was founded c. 1140-44 by the Cistercian Order and flourished under the patronage of the Lord Rhys to become the mother house of seven other Welsh abbeys and two in Ireland during the 12th and early 13th centuries. By the 14th century it was in decline and was eventually suppressed as part of the Dissolution in 1539. Above ground stone foundations and piers of the church are visible together with some upstanding fragments of the walls the claustral ranges that are incorporated into the walls of a 19th century garden to the south. Excavations in the 1920’s and later in the 1990’s recovered the ground plan of the church and geophysical survey has been able to establish the full conventual plan of buildings with the partly defined boundaries of the inner and outer precincts.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the organisation and practice of medieval Christianity. It is given additional significance by being associated with a monastic water system of fish ponds, supply and drainage channels identified as earthworks in the surrounding landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits and the structure itself 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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