By Janet Burton, Karen Stöber

This quantity is a finished, richly illustrated advisor to the non secular homes of Wales from the 12th during the 16th centuries. It deals a radical advent to the historical past of monastic orders in Wales, together with the Benedictines, Cluniacs, Cistercians, and so on additionally, it presents distinct debts of virtually sixty communes of spiritual women and men. Descriptions of the extant is still of the structures, in addition to maps, flooring plans, and visitor info make this not only a piece of scholarship, yet an integral advisor for pilgrims in addition.

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The abbot of Le Mans, or a proxy appointed by him, would have been expected to visit the priory from time to time in order to ensure that the standards of observance were being maintained. From 1204, when the county of Maine was lost to the English king, this would have been more difficult. It was not just the abbot of Le Mans who would have been concerned about the state of monastic life at Abergavenny. This was also of considerable interest to Abergavenny’s patron (since a poorly run monastery might reflect badly on a patron) and to local churchmen.

In fact, according to ancient traditions, Wales was home to a very large number of holy men and women, some better known than others, and all in some way remembered in local toponyms. The most famous such site, recording none less than Wales’s patron saint, is the small city of St Davids in Pembrokeshire, home to the cathedral of the same name and alleged burial site of the saint himself. However, there are countless other places besides that either commemorate one or several saints (as do the many places beginning with the element llan- referring to a holy place, followed by a personal name, such as Llanbadarn or Llandeilo), or are traditionally associated with the presence of holy men without bearing their individual names.

1990, 2001. ABERGAVENNY BENEDICTINE PRIORY Dedication: St Mary Diocese: Llandaff Grid reference: SO30091411 Old county: Monmouthshire Local authority: Monmouthshire Ownership and access: public access to the church, which is in the ownership of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales HISTORY T HE PRIORY OF St Mary, Abergavenny, was one of a number of Benedictine houses in South Wales to be founded in the wake of the coming of the Normans. Its origins lay in a grant made by Hamelin de Ballon (Barham) to the French abbey of St Vincent du Mans.

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