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Strata Florida
Cistercian Abbey
in Gwnnws

The Abbey

The remains of Strata Florida Abbey are found near Pontrhydfendigaid in Cardiganshire. It was built for Cistercian monks about 1164 on flat meadowland in the valley by the river Teifi not far from its source at the Teifi Pools. The abbey at Strata Florida or field of flowers, also known as Ystrad Fflur, although a remote but important religious building, became a centre of welsh culture visited by princes and poets. The monks were well known for their farming, milling and weaving and the abbey became an important political centre for Wales.

This is a photograph shows the famous arch of the west doorway. The stone arch and surrounding walls are the tallest remaining part of the abbey
The west doorway.

Edward I destroyed the abbey but later rebuilt it. The troops of Henry IV occupied it and finally very little survived after the monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII. However it is still impressive and the huge size can be seen. Remaining parts of the side chapels still have beautifully tiled medieval floors.


Six miles northeast of Tregaron is the village of Pontrhydfendigaid - "Bridge near the ford of the blessed virgin". This quiet village on the banks of the Teifi is undistinguished apart from its proximity to Strata Florida and the surprisingly large village pavilion used each year for the May eisteddfod. Pontrhydfendigaid is in the parish of Gwnnws.

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