Valle Crucis Abbey is tucked away in a beautiful wooded valley and you really only noticed it, if you are driving up the valley to go to the Horse Shoe Pass, just up from Llangollen in Wales. After quite a few years of passing by, we had a chance to stop, it was if I had always kept it on the back burner. So when I finally got to see it, I wondered if the anticipation would been greater than the actual visit………….no, it was wonderful, it lived up to my very thoughts.
There are substantial remains left to visualise the abbey as it once was, it does help that you can enter the dormitory and the abbots lodgings, which we visited in my last post.
The Chapter House also remains, dated 1400’s, this was a very important building after the church. Here the monks assembled to hear a chapter read to them from the Rule of St Benedict (hence chapter house…now I know)
A little history…….In January 1201 the monks arrived to colonises a new abbey founded by Madog Gruffydd Maelar, who in 1236 was buried here. The abbey was named after the 9th century cross of Elisey.
The abbey suffered a fire in the mid 13th century which interrupted the completion of the building and it is not clear if it was ever completed to how it was intended to be. There was more damage to the abbey in the 1420’s.
In the late 15th century new lodgings were built for the abbot of the day, Abbot David. After the abbey was suppressed in 1536, it passed to Sir William Pickering.
The east range remained in use as a house until 1650’s, but was ruinous during the 18th century. It was re-roofed as a farmhouse c1800 and the dormitory is still roofed.
It is a wonderful place to visit and there is lots to explore.