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An Abbey Adventure

Good morning all ye history buffs, and welcome to the wild west of Wales… I mean Neath Abbey! I’ll be your tour guide for today, and we’ll be taking a time machine back to medieval times to check out this ancient ruin.

Ruins, Rulers, and Remains
Tap to view in my redbubble gallery.

As we stroll around, I’ll tell you all about Neath Abbey, from when Richard I de Grenville, one of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, was feeling generous and gave 8,000 acres of his estate to some Savigniac monks from western Normandy. We’ll explore all the way to the Abbey’s role in the industrial revolution, where it was used as a factory and a quarry.

Let’s start with the impressive gatehouse, added in the late 14th century. It was like a giant “come at me bro” sign for visitors back in the day. Can you imagine arriving here and being in awe of its grandeur?

Next, we have the church ruins, once one of the largest in Wales. This was the heart of religious life, where the monks would spend hours in prayer and contemplation… or napping.

We then have the cloister ruins, where the monks would spend most of their time. A peaceful and secluded area surrounded by gardens and fountains… because who doesn’t love a good fountain?

And last but not least, we have the refectory remains where the monks would chow down. A large and airy room, with tall windows to let in all the light and fresh air… unless it was raining, then it was just a big, damp mess.

During the industrial revolution, Neath Abbey played a significant role in the heart of South Wales. By 1730, some of the buildings were being used for copper smelting and in the 18th and 19th centuries, the site was basically used as a quarry, providing stone for the construction of many new factories and workers’ homes.

Despite all that, much of the abbey still stands today, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. So, take a moment to imagine what it was like to live and work here hundreds of years ago and let’s continue our journey back in time!

Tap to view my redbubble gallery.

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