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Tintern Abbey: A Visitor's Guide

A national icon, Tintern Abbey still stands proudly on the banks of the River Wye as it has for almost 900 years. A Grade I listed building, it was in decline for almost 400 years before being bought by the Crown in 1901. This scheduled ancient monument is now under the care of Cadw and is the focal point of the beautiful Wye Valley.

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The Gliffaes Hotel Guide To Tintern Abbey

Frequently asked questions

Here are the most common queries. For more information, visit the official CADW website

Where Is Tintern Abbey?

Tintern Abbey/Abaty Tyndryn, Tintern, Monmouthshire, NP16 6SE (approximately 60 minutes drive from the hotel)

When Is Tintern Abbey Open?

Spring (March 1st-June 30th)

Monday-Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm

(closed for lunch from 1:00pm-2:00pm)

Summer (July 1st-August 31st)

Monday-Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm

(closed for lunch from 1:00pm-2:00pm)

Autumn (September 1st-October 31st)

Monday-Sunday: 9:30am-5:00pm

Winter (November 1st-February 28th)

Monday-Sunday: 10:00am-4:00pm

(Closed December 24th, 25th, 26th & January 1st)

How Long Should I Spend At Tintern Abbey?

A minimum of 2-3 hours, perhaps longer if you wish to explore the local area further

How Much Is Entry To Tintern Abbey?

Children under 5: Free entry

5-17 years: £3.90

Adults: £5.50

Family ticket (2 adults + 3 children): £18.00

Students, Armed Forces & Veterans: £3.90

Can I Park At Tintern Abbey?

There is a Pay & Display car park near the entrance to Tintern Abbey, which provides parking for more than 50 vehicles. There are dedicated parking spaces for people with disabilities.

The parking charge can be reimbursed when making a purchase in the Tintern Abbey gift shop.

Is Tintern Abbey Wheelchair-Accessible?

Yes it is. It is mostly level, with gravel pathways and flat lawns.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Tintern Abbey?

Tintern Abbey is open year-round, with opening times differing depending on the season, so you can visit whenever you like. Visiting in the spring is highly recommended.

What Should I Wear To Tintern Abbey?

There is no required dress code at Tintern Abbey. Although it is mostly flat, trainers are still recommended as the footwear of choice, especially if you intend to walk around the grounds.

Is Tintern Abbey Dog-Friendly?

Yes it is. Dogs are welcome on the main site, but must be kept on a lead at all times.

Is There WiFi At Tintern Abbey?

WiFi is not currently available at Tintern Abbey.

Tintern Abbey: From Riches To Ruin

A trip to Tintern Abbey is highly recommended when staying at the Gliffaes Country House Hotel.

It stands just 100m away from the Welsh bank of the river Wye. The river Wye serves as the border between Gloucestershire in England and Monmouthshire in Wales.

Founded in 1131 by the lord of Chepstow, Walter de Clare, Tintern Abbey is one of the most well-known ruins in Wales.

The Early Years

When Tintern Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks, it was largely constructed from timber.

An uncomplicated church and cloisters were built from stone some time later, but more than a century would pass before the extravagant redevelopment began.

While William Marshal and his son, William the Younger, were both generous benefactors to Tintern Abbey, it wasn’t until the patronage was passed to William’s great-grandson, Roger Bigod III, that the building of the abbey church began.

Construction commenced in 1269 took some 30 years to finish. Widely regarded as a masterpiece of British Gothic architecture, the Tintern Abbey that we know today was completed in 1301.

A Road To Ruin

In comparison to other monastic foundations of the middle ages, Tintern was never a particularly large establishment, with less than 400 monks present at any given time.

After the Black Death had devastated the population, this number decreased drastically. When the dissolution of monasteries began in 1536 and Tintern Abbey was surrendered to Henry VIII, there were less than 50 monks and monastic servants remaining.

Monasteries across Britain, Tintern included, fell into a state of disrepair. Any valuables were removed and sent to the Royal Treasury, the lead was removed from the roof and, without any regular maintenance, its demise began.

The Romantic Era

The abbey remained abandoned for more than 200 years and continued to decay. In the mid-eighteenth century, people began to visit the Wye Valley to take in the breathtaking landscapes and scenery. It was particularly favoured by poets and artists who visited to take inspiration from the ivy-clad ruin and the romantic surroundings.

During his search for the ancient monuments of England, Wales and Scotland, the poet Thomas Gray visited Tintern Abbey, and it was the publication of his works that further increased the popularity of the magnificent ruin.

William Wordsworth first visited Tintern Abbey in 1793 and, after being reunited with his sister, he returned in 1798. It was during this visit that he penned the climatic poem “Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey”.

Tintern Abbey Today

Tintern Abbey looks largely the same today as it did when the construction was completed in 1301. The roof and windows are now missing, but the grand structure appears as it did all those years ago.

Tintern Abbey was classified as a monument of national importance and was bought by the Crown in 1901. It is now a Grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument and is currently operated by Cadw.

Tintern Abbey Facts

  1. The name “Tintern” may originate from din deyrn (Welsh), meaning “rocks of the king”
  2. In the year 1793, William Wordsworth visited Tintern Abbey for the first time
  3. It has featured on BBC’s “Songs Of Praise”.

How To Find Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey is approximately 60 minutes drive from the Gliffaes Country House Hotel.

Upon leaving the hotel, proceed east towards the A40 and continue for 2.5 miles. Turn right onto the A4077 and proceed until you reach Heads of the Valleys Road.

Continue on Heads of the Valley Road for approximately 3.5 miles. As you pass over the River Usk, you will approach a roundabout where you must take the 3rd exit onto the A40.

Proceed for approximately 8 miles on the A40 until you reach Raglan village, at which point you will take the 3rd exit on the roundabout and continue towards Chepstow Road.

Continue on Chepstow Road for 6 miles, at which point you will begin to see signposts for Tintern Abbey. Turn right onto the B4293 and take a slight left towards Devauden Road. 

Turn left onto the A466 and continue for approximately 3 miles until you see Tintern Abbey on your right.

Other Attractions Near Tintern Abbey

Built in 1067, Chepstow Castle is the oldest post-Roman fortress in Britain. Located just 6 miles from Tintern Abbey, this is a must-visit for budding historians.

Clearwell, Old Ham, Lambsquay, Old Bow, Oak Pit and New Dun are a network of 6 mines that are collectively known as Clearwell Caves. They have been extensively mined for iron ore and are now a designated Site of Specific Scientific Interest.

One of the surviving ancient woodlands in England, the Forest Of Dean is located just 13 miles from Tintern Abbey. Covering more than 40 square miles, there is an abundance of things to do here.

Book Your Brecon Beacons Escape

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

We’ve created a useful guide of local attractions and activities in the Brecon Beacons, containing information on walks, things to do, local shopping, and places to visit, which you can use to help map out your visit to the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a fresh, locally sourced lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, or somewhere comfortable to stay the night, our friendly country house hotel is the perfect base for your Brecon Beacons break.

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