• Julian Lovell The Abbey at Abbeycwmhir

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Julian Lovell, local resident of Abbeycwmhir, talks about the history of the Abbey at Abbeycwmhir. The founding of the Abbey of Cwmhir was part of the extraordinary expansion of the Cistercian Order inspired by St Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12thC. It was founded by the Welsh Lords of Maelienydd (Radnorshire) descended from the house of Elystan Glodrydd which ruled the area between the Severn and the Wye – Rhwng Gwye a Hafren. One of the many mysteries of Abbey Cwmhir is that one of the earliest Cistercian historians1 of the 16thC gives two dates for its founding, 1143 & 1176. Both are championed today although most specialists prefer 1176 when the powerful “King” or Rex d’Elfael, Cadwallon ap Madoc was ruler. Today it is a much loved peaceful location in the deep wooded sides of the long valley with a Cadw exhibition room supported by the Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust, one of the most interesting history societies in the area playing an active part in research work to do with the history of the Abbey, its archaeology and its place in the national heritage of Wales.

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