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Tintern Abbey was founded for Cistercian monks in 1131 and the present remains date from the late 13th century. The richest abbey in Wales would have begun to decay soon after 1536, by which time king Henry VIII had decided to appropriate the wealth of the religious houses. Many of the abbeys soon became roofless as their lead was quickly plundered and the fact that the ruins still stand is testament to the great skills of the medieval designers and craftsmen. 

The abbey and its setting in a River Wye valley have long inspired British artists. Turner's beautiful picture of the interior showed chickens scratching around an unkempt, grassy floor but Tintern has latterly been in the care of Cadw, Welsh Historic Monuments and its future is assured. 

 



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