Neath Abbey

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Neath abbey, 1849

Neath Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Nedd) was a Cistercian monastery, located near the present-day town of Neath in South Wales, UK. It was once the largest abbey in Wales. Substantial ruins can still be seen, and are in the care of Cadw. Tudor historian John Leland called Neath Abbey "the fairest abbey of all Wales."

Neath Abbey is also the name of an area of Neath near to the abbey ruins.


Ruins of Neath Abbey

Neath Abbey was established in 1129 AD when Richard I de Grenville ( 1142), one of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, gave 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) of his estate in Glamorgan, Wales, to Savigniac monks from western Normandy. The first monks arrived in 1130. Following the assumption of the Savigniac order into the Cistercian order in 1147, Neath Abbey also became a Cistercian house. The abbey was ravaged by the Welsh uprisings of the 13th century.[citation needed] During the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII of England the last abbot, Lleision ap Thomas, managed to buy time through payment of a large fine in 1536, but the abbey was dissolved in 1539.[1] At this time, the abbey was turned into a large estate.

Industrial use[edit]

By 1730, some of the buildings were being used for copper smelting, and the rest were abandoned. In the late 18th century, an iron foundry was opened near the abbey ruins by a company owned by the Price, Fox and Tregelles families.


Ruins of Neath Abbey

The archaeology of the abbey was eventually excavated between 1924 and 1935.

Commercial use[edit]

The area adjacent to the ruins is used by a car retailer and a number of smaller businesses and workshops.

The site has been used to film several episodes of television series Doctor Who. The Time Lord (played by Matt Smith) and his companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) have filmed several times at the site, which was transformed into a complete structure.

The site was also used for shots during the filming of the BBC television series Merlin, for example the castle of the ancient kings where Arthur rediscovered the round table in Series 3 episode 13

Nearest places[edit]

See also[edit]


A view of Neath Abbey (c. 1800) by Hendrik Frans de Cort
  1. ^ Saunders, Evan John (1970), "Lleision ap Thomas", Dictionary of Welsh Biography, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, retrieved 2016-04-09 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°39′39″N 3°49′35″W / 51.6609°N 3.8265°W / 51.6609; -3.8265