Tintern Abbey

The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow. It soon prospered, thanks to endowments of land in Gwent and Gloucestershire, and buildings were added and updated in every century until its dissolution in 1536.

In the reign of King Henry VIII, his Dissolution of the Monasteries ended monastic life in England and Wales. On 3 September 1536 Abbot Wyche surrendered Tintern Abbey and all its estates to the King's visitors and ended a way of life which had lasted 400 years. Valuables from the Abbey were sent to the royal Treasury and Abbot Wyche 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.