Whitland Abbey

Dragon-150Whitland Abbey was a Cistercian abbey near Whitland in south-west Wales, now in Carmarthenshire.

Whitland was founded on 16th September, 1140 by monks from the mother house of Clairvaux. In 1144 it was located at Little Trefgarn near Haverfordwest. It moved to Whitland in about 1155, a site having been granted by John of Torrington. The abbey founded a number of daughter houses in Wales, starting with an abortive foundation at Cwm-hir in 1143. In 1164 a group of monks from Whitland founded Strata Florida Abbey. Strata Marcella Abbey was founded from Whitland in 1170, and in 1176 Cwm-hir was re-founded.

Whitland Abbey was originally a Cambro-Norman foundation, but soon came under the control and patronage of Rhys ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth. It was at Whitland that Rhys’s son, Maredudd, ended his days as a monk after he had been blinded by order of King Henry II of England when a hostage in England.

Very little now remains at the site, only the grass-covered foundations of the walls.