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llantarnam abbey



Llantarnam Abbey stands on the site of a medieval Cistercian monastery. Founded in 1179, a "daughter house" of Strata Florida, it was one of the few Cistercian monasteries in Wales. During the Reformation it was dissolved. In 1553, the property was brought by William Morgan, a Catholic, who adapted the building as a family home. He faithfully paid the fines for non-attendance at the Established Church. Eventually he paid a large sum to obtain exemption from further fines.

In the early 17th Century Edward Morgan (William's descendant) added to the house. The Morgan family helped to establish the Jesuits, on their return to Wales, at the Cwm near Monmouth.
One Jesuit who frequently visited Llantarnam was David Lewis, one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. He was captured just outside the Abbey grounds and martyred at Usk in 1679. His portrait hangs in the Chapel corridor.

Nothing further was done to the Abbey till the 19th Century. Reginald James Blewitt, a relation by marriage to the Morgans, restored the property in 1836. After his death Clifford Cory J.P. bought the Estate. He built the small dwelling now called "The Monk's Cell", added the polo field and altered the gardens. After his death the property was sold to the Government.


In 1946, the Abbey was bought by the Sisters of St. Joseph and is home to a large community of Sisters. The Sisters farm the adjoining land.


The Tŷ Croeso Centre adjoins the Abbey on one side of the Garth.