Thursday, December 11, 2014

ESHT 2014 - Back to the coach and out of Llangollen and Wales, towards our next destination, Chester, England



Our Trafalgar coach, right where Tommy parked it in Llangollen. A few minutes after I took this photo, all 52 of us travelers, plus Tommy and Anna, tour director, were underway.


One last photo taken through the coach window of The Corn Mill, across the River Dee. It's a traditional pub restaurant.


As we rode along the A542, thankfully I took enough photos of this ruin through the coach window so that I managed to get a relatively clear one which I could straighten and share with you. Not that I could remember exactly what it was. However, using my search term skills honed by being a high school librarian back in Mississippi, I Googled ruined abbey between llangollen and wrexham--got it on the first hit! Yea, I've still got the touch.

Valle Crucis Abbey (found at the Llangollen in Denbighshire North Wales' Web site:

The evocative ruins of Valle Crucis lie in green fields beneath Llangollen's steep sided mountains. In medieval times, this was a remote spot (ideal for austere Cistercian monks, who deliberately sought out wild and lonely places).

Their Abbey, founded in the 13th century and added to a century later, has fared better than many of its contemporaries against the ravages of time, history and neglect.

Many original features remain, including the glorious west front complete with an elaborate, richly carved doorway, beautiful rose window and 14th century inscription 'Abbot Adams carried out this work; may he rest in peace. Amen.'

Other well preserved features include the east end of the Abbey (which overlooks the monks' original fishpond) and lovely Chapter House with its striking rib-vaulted roof. But Valle Crucis is not just a lesson in medieval ecclesiastical architecture.

A visit to this fascinating site evokes the lives of the Cistercian monks - successful sheep farmers and enthusiastic supporters of Welsh culture as well as devout men of religion .

Interestingly, Valle Crucis also reveals a gradual relaxation in the strict regime of the Cistercians. By the late 15th century, the abbot decided to build for himself a fine new hall with a heated private apartment.

Valle Crucis, the 'Valley of the Cross', is named after Eliseg's Pillar, a 9th century Christian memorial cross which stands nearby.

1998 marked the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Cistercian Order at Citeaux in Burgundy. The white-robed Cistercians were the most successful of all the medieval religious orders. They arrived in Britain in 1128, searching out remote places in which to practice their austere religion. At Valle Crucis and elsewhere, they left a glorious architectural legacy which serves as a remarkable insight into their way of life.

Access: B5103 from the A5, west of Llangollen, or A542 from Ruthin.

Remember that A542 and Ruthin, for later on, OK?


William Kendall said...

The old abbey ruins in particular really appeals to me.

Randy said...

So green and beautiful. Like the tour bus.