VALLE CRUCIS ABBEY
Map Reference SJ24SW
Grid Reference SJ2043544154
Unitary (Local) Authority Denbighshire
Old County Denbighshire
Type of Site ABBEY
Broad Class Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Period Post Medieval
Site Description The Cistercian Abbey of Valle Crucis was founded by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor in 1201, when twelve monks took occupation of a temporary wooden church and domestic accommodation, immediately beginning construction of roughly faced rubble buildings. By the time of the death of the Abbey’s patron in 1236 extensive work had been completed, but stained masonry and extensive rebuilding attest to a severe fire some time after this date. Repairs began promptly, with the later work distinguishable by its smaller, flatter stones. Further major rebuilding exercises took place in the mid-fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Following its dissolution in 1538 the east range was adapted as a mansion and occupied until about 1654. It was then in use as a farmhouse from 1800 to 1850, before falling into decay.
Extensive structures survive, including chancel walls and the west front of the church, the south transept and the east range of the cloister together with the chapter house and sacristy, and the lower part of the reredorter. The west front was restored by Gilbert Scott in 1870. Between the abbey and the Eglwyseg river is what is thought to be a monastic fishpond. This was remodelled as a reflecting pool when a summerhouse was built and the grounds landscaped, in the eighteenth century (NPRN 266505).
Royal Commission aerial reconnaissance during the drought summer of 2006 recorded extensive parchmarks around the abbey, including parchmarks of a buried wall footing to the west of the abbey which might form part of an outer precinct. The photographs were taken on 31 July 2006.
Source: Evans, D.H. 1995. Valle Crucis Abbey: Cadw Guide (Revised Edition)
K Steele, RCAHMW, 10 November 2008 and T. Driver, RCAHMW, 27 Jan 2010.