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ST DOGMAELS ABBEY, ST DOGMAELS

Site Details



NPRN 94164

Map Reference SN14NE

Grid Reference SN1640445853

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community St Dogmaels

Type of Site ABBEY

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Medieval

Site Description St Dogmael’s Abbey is situated to the immediate south of the last bend of the Afon Teifi, before it flows into the sea at Poppit Sands some 2km to the north. The current remains of the abbey are thought to lie within the remains of the early medieval monastery of Llandudoch, documented in the 10th century. The foundation charter of the 12th-century St Dogmael’s Abbey described the earlier house as the ‘old church’. The earlier monastic precinct may be represented by the curvilinear road and property boundaries to the north of the abbey, and may be continuous with a curving bank identified to the south by geophysical survey. Five early medieval carved stones found in the grounds of the abbey (NPRNs 423575, 423576, 423578, 423580, 421294), with two more (NPRNs 423581 & 423583) found at nearby Bryngwyn Farm, suggest an ecclesiastical presence from the 6th century onwards, although it has been suggested that the site may have moved from Caerau Gaer (NPRN 304072). An attack by Vikings in 988 suggests the community was a wealthy one.

The medieval Abbey of St Mary at St Dogmaels was founded in 1115 by the FitzMartin family of Cemais and was of the Order of Tiron. Caldey Priory, Caldey Island (NPRN 245) was a daughter house to St Dogmaels. The abbey was re-modelled in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and in the sixteenth century the northern transept was given a fan vaulted roof. Substantial remains of the abbey church survive, including the western end wall, the north wall, northern transept and the eastern end walls of the crypt. Extensive monastic buildings also survive to the south of the Abbey, and a detached building of the late thirteenth century, possibly an infirmary chapel or infirmary is located to the south-east. The medieval abbey possessed a number of dependent churches, chapelries and grange chapels, including two pilgrimage chapels.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer

RCAHMW, 1 November 2018

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