The Abbey's Precinct

A primary objective of the archaeological work in Phase 1 has been to establish the extent of the original Abbey Precinct and to determine the quality of archaeological survival where very little survives above ground. We have found that the Abbey extent is exceptionally large, in the order of 126 acres or 45 hectares, and that there is an excellent survival of field remains in both the precincts.

We are sure too that there is the normal Cistercian division between an Inner and Outer Precinct with the main masonry buildings within the former, as revealed by geophysics, soil survey and excavation.

We have also been able to show that there is considerable archaeological survival of the post-medieval sequences of buildings and spaces, created after the Abbey was dissolved in 1539. Interpretation here has been assisted by an abundance of contemporary documents and detailed estate maps from 1765 onwards.

We are also now clear that there is a large site under the Cistercian Abbey with some clues that this might be a preceding 'Celtic' monastery, some of the features of which influenced the layout of the later Church and Cloisters.

In the following sections we give further information about the Abbey remains which form the Cadw monument, the layout of the Precincts, the excavationswe have conducted, the post-medieval Mynachlog Fawr or Great Abbey gentry landscape and later farm and our first thoughts about an earlier monastery.

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