The Holy Valley: Valle Crucis

Well I’m home finally, safe and warm in Sussex, though I seemed to have brought the Welsh weather with me..oops.

Not that the weather had been completely terrible, in fact driving back from uni the weather was so absolutely fantastic I just had to stop off somewhere.

I ended up at place called Valle Crucis Abbey (the valley of the cross), just outside of Llangollen. The abbey was built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, the Prince of Powys Fadog, one of the ancient Welsh kingdoms. The site was to act as the religious center of Madog’s Kingdom and at its height the abbey hosted around 120 monks.

After Madog’s death and subsequent burial in the grounds, the abbey suffered a major fire and was subsequently damaged during Edward I’s conquest in 1277 and Owain Glyndwr’s revolt in 1400. Despite this damage the abbey continued to survive and was relatively prosperous, but it was Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries that brought about the end of the abbey and today the site is mostly a ruin, surrounded by a caravan park. Though walking around alone among these mighty pillars and with the caravan park hidden behind stone walls, I could of sworn I’d be transported back to the 1200s.

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