History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Tudor historian John Leland once famously called Neath "the fairest abbey in all Wales", though he saw the site before parts of it was used for copper smelting in the early 18th century. Eventually Neath was completely abandoned and the buildings left to decay.
Neath is especially notable for its collection of earthenware floor tiles (some of which now grace the National Museum of Wales). Look for the tiles depicting the famous single combat between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.
The best surviving part of the abbey church is perhaps the night stair, which led sleepy monks from their dormitory to the church for prayers. Above the stair is a wonderfully carved human head, but much of the original stonework elsewhere has been lost.
When we visited the Tudor mansion had been affected badly by Spring rain, which had the effect of making some of the stonework unsafe. as a result we could only view the mansion from behind fences. We were able to wander the rest of the site, however, and hopefully the photos with this article will convey some sense of the abbey.
About Neath Abbey
Address: Neath, Gower, Neath Port Talbot, Wales, SA10 7DW
Attraction Type: Abbey
Location: Just off the A465 1 mile west of Neath (behind the industrial estate). There is a small parking area, but no facilities on site.
Website: Neath Abbey
OS: SS737 974
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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Richard the Lionheart (Person) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Neath Roman Fort - 0.6 miles (Roman Site)
Neath Castle - 1.1 miles (Castle)
Gnoll Estate Country Park - 1.9 miles (Garden)
Aberdulais Tin Mine and Waterfall - 2.4 miles (Historic Building)
Cefn Coed Colliery Museum - 3.4 miles (Museum)
Aberavon, St Mary's Church - 4.8 miles (Historic Church)
South Wales Miners Museum - 5.5 miles (Museum)
Swansea Castle - 5.6 miles (Castle)
Nearest Accommodation to Neath Abbey:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
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