History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Hywel the Good's code of law was composed here
Despite its medieval importance, Whitland is perhaps best known as the place where Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good) composed his code of law around 940 AD.
The abbey came under the patronage of Rhys ap Gruffuddd (Lord Rhys). The abbot of Whitland was put in command of the garrison at Cynvael Castle by Cadwaladr, brother of Owain Gwynedd, who was in dispute with Owain's sons. The sons attacked the castle, and after a fierce siege, captured it and killed all the garrison. The abbot, however, managed to escape with the aide of some friends in the enemy camp, and made his way back to Whitland and safety.
Lord Rhys's son Maredudd was held as a hostage in England, but was blinded by the order of Henry II of England, and lived out his days at Whitland as a simple monk. Perhaps it was that heritage that made Whitland a strong supporter of the Welsh struggle for independence. It was never a large or wealthy abbey, and had only 8 monks at its height.
The abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536, re-founded the following year, and shut down for good in 1539. It was sold into private hands, and the site was used as a forge. A Victorian house was later built on the abbey site, and the abbey ruins were allowed to decay until there was little left beyond foundation walls on a wide lawn.
The abbey ruins are on private property, but a part of the site is visible from the road.
About Whitland Abbey
Address: Whitland, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Attraction Type: Abbey
Location: 1 mile north of Whitland, off the A40. Nearest postcode SA34 0LG
OS: SN209 182
Photo Credit: Image courtesy of JohnArmagh
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Whitland, Ciffig Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church)
St Clears Castle - 4.8 miles (Castle)
Amroth, St Elidyr's Church - 7 miles (Historic Church)
Colby Woodland Garden - 7.2 miles (Garden)
Laugharne, St Martin - 7.2 miles (Historic Church)
Laugharne Castle - 7.5 miles (Castle)
Dylan Thomas Boat House - 7.5 miles (Historic Building)
Gors Fawr Stone Circle - 8.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Whitland Abbey:
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