The Order was founded in 1120. In 1126, when it received papal approbation by
Pope Honorius II, there were nine houses; others were established in quick succession throughout western Europe, so that at the middle of the fourteenth century there were some 1,300 monasteries for men and 400 for women. They came to England about 1143, first at Newhouse in Lincoln, and before the dissolution under Henry VIII there were 35 houses. Soon after their arrival in England, they founded Dryburgh Abbeyin the Borders area of Scotland, which was followed by other communities at Whithorn Priory, Dercongal Abbeyand Tongland Abbeyall in the Borders area, as well as Fearn Abbeyin northern Britain.
The monastery, which was founded by
Rhys ap Gruffydd, is in the care of Cadw. In common with Strata Florida Abbey, it was once claimed to be the site of the grave of the medieval Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, but this is one of the discredited theories of Iolo Morganwg. There are two lakes near the abbey ruins, which was used for fish farmingto support the community of monks. The abbey was dissolved by Henry VIIIand the structure mined by the villagers for stone to build much of the present village and the chapel next to the abbey. The ruinous tower is surrounded by steep wooded hills, and can be reached by a circuitous lane from the main road. It is well signposted.
Dissolution of the Monasteries
* [http://www.castlewales.com/talley.html Details and photographs]
*Images of the abbey ruins: [http://www.castlewales.com/talley.jpg] , [http://www.gtj.org.uk/storage/Components/285/28590_1.jpg] , [http://www.castlewales.com/talley4.jpg]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3163833 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Talley Abbey and surrounding area]
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