Ashien Hein

Ashien Hein

Published: 14 Sep 2023


Tintern Abbey, located in Monmouthshire, Wales, is not just another ancient ruin. It has a rich history and holds many extraordinary facts that make it a truly fascinating landmark. Founded in 1131 by Walter de Clare, Tintern Abbey is considered one of the greatest monastic ruins in Wales. Despite its dilapidated state, it continues to captivate visitors with its crumbling walls and serene surroundings.

But there’s more to Tintern Abbey than meets the eye. From its connection to renowned poet William Wordsworth to its transformation into a romantic inspiration for artists, this historic site holds countless intriguing stories. In this article, we’ll delve into 15 extraordinary facts that will leave you in awe of Tintern Abbey’s allure and significance. So, join us as we uncover the hidden secrets and remarkable tales behind this remarkable landmark.

Table of Contents

A Medieval Wonder

Tintern Abbey, located in Monmouthshire, Wales, is a stunning medieval abbey that dates back to the 12th century. It stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of the time and is widely regarded as one of the most important monastic ruins in Wales.

The Cistercian Order

Tintern Abbey was originally founded by Walter de Clare, the Lord of Chepstow, in It was established as a monastery for the Cistercian monks, who followed a strict rule of simplicity and isolation from the outside world.

A Spiritual Retreat

The abbey was designed in the Gothic style, known for its soaring arches, ribbed vaults, and pointed windows. It provided a tranquil and contemplative space for the monks to meditate and worship.

Henry VIII’s Dissolution

During the reign of Henry VIII, Tintern Abbey, like many other monastic institutions, fell victim to the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1536, the abbey was dissolved, and its valuable possessions were confiscated by the crown.

The Romantic Movement

Tintern Abbey gained renewed fame in the late 18th century when it became a source of inspiration for poets and artists of the Romantic Movement. The likes of William Wordsworth and J.M.W. Turner immortalized the abbey through their works.

Gothic Revival

In the 19th century, Tintern Abbey played a significant role in the Gothic Revival movement. Its intricate architectural details and picturesque setting captured the imagination of architects and designers of the time, who sought to recreate its grandeur.

Wordsworth’s Poetic Tribute

William Wordsworth’s famous poem, “Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey,” is a heartfelt tribute to the abbey and its natural surroundings. It expresses the poet’s deep connection to the site and his reflection on the passage of time.

Remarkable Architectural Features

Tintern Abbey boasts several remarkable architectural features, including its stunning west front, beautifully carved columns, and intricate tracery work. These elements showcase the impressive craftsmanship of medieval artisans.

Visitors and Tourism

Today, Tintern Abbey attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its historical significance and breathtaking beauty. Its serene setting on the banks of the River Wye provides a picturesque backdrop for exploration and contemplation.

Restorations and Preservations

Over the years, Tintern Abbey has undergone various restoration efforts to preserve its fragile ruins. These ongoing endeavors ensure that future generations can continue to witness the majesty of this iconic landmark.

Film and Television

Tintern Abbey has served as a filming location for numerous movies and TV shows, adding to its cultural significance. It has appeared in productions such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and the BBC series “Doctor Who.”

A Site of Inspiration

Tintern Abbey continues to inspire artists, poets, and writers to this day. Its mystical aura and romantic ambiance make it an ideal setting for creative expression and introspection.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1986, Tintern Abbey was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its outstanding universal value and importance to humanity. It stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Wales.

Literary Influences

Tintern Abbey’s influence extends beyond visual arts. It has also inspired renowned authors such as Mary Shelley, who drew inspiration from its Gothic atmosphere for her iconic novel “Frankenstein.”

A Symbol of Resilience

Tintern Abbey’s survival through the ages, despite periods of neglect and decay, serves as a symbol of resilience and the enduring power of human creativity.


In conclusion, Tintern Abbey is a truly remarkable landmark with a rich history and fascinating facts. Its stunning architecture, picturesque location, and romantic charm make it a must-visit destination for tourists and history enthusiasts alike. From its role as a Cistercian monastery to its connection with famous poets like Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey holds a special place in the hearts of many. The abbey’s preservation and restoration efforts ensure that future generations can continue to appreciate its beauty and significance.Whether you are interested in medieval architecture, literary history, or simply appreciating the tranquility of a centuries-old site, Tintern Abbey never fails to captivate. So, plan your visit and immerse yourself in the beauty of this extraordinary landmark. Experience the awe-inspiring grandeur that has drawn visitors for centuries and create your own memories amidst the ancient walls of Tintern Abbey.


Q: How old is Tintern Abbey?

A: Tintern Abbey was founded in 1131, making it over 800 years old.

Q: Can I visit Tintern Abbey?

A: Yes, Tintern Abbey is open to visitors. It is managed by Cadw, the Welsh government’s historic environment service, and welcomes tourists throughout the year.

Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit Tintern Abbey?

A: Yes, there is an admission fee to enter Tintern Abbey. However, there are discounts available for children, students, and senior citizens.

Q: Are there guided tours available?

A: Yes, guided tours of Tintern Abbey are available for visitors who wish to learn more about its history and significance. These tours provide in-depth information and insights into the abbey’s past.

Q: Can I take photographs inside Tintern Abbey?

A: Yes, photography is allowed inside Tintern Abbey. Visitors are encouraged to capture the beauty of the abbey and preserve their memories of the visit.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with Tintern Abbey?

A: Yes, the Wye Valley, located near Tintern Abbey, offers breathtaking natural beauty and several other attractions. Visitors can explore the stunning landscapes, go hiking, visit other historical sites, or indulge in outdoor activities in the surrounding area.