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Strata Florida Abbey, Pontrhydfendigaid

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Map ReferenceSN76NW
Grid ReferenceSN7467965731
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
CommunityYstrad Fflur
Type Of SiteABBEY

Abaty Ystrad Fflur, Pontrhydfendigaid, the Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida was initially founded in 1164 by Robert fitz Stephen, an Anglo-Norman lord. However, patronage of the fledgling community was soon assumed by Rhys ap Gruffudd, prince of the ancient kingship of Deheubarth. Before 1200 an ambitious building programme was engaged and in 1201, the Cistercians took possession of their new church at Strata Florida. It is highly likely that the Abbey was not totally completed by the middle of the thirteenth century. Through the course of the thirteenth century, the Abbey was an ardent supporter of the Welsh cause, occasionally resulting in the hostility of the kings of England. It was at Strata Florida that a copy of Brut y Tywysogyon (Chronicle of the princes) was written, and it was here too that many members of the Deheubarth dynasty of princes were laid to rest. The abbey at Strata Florida suffered damage during the Welsh wars of King Edward I in 1276-77 and again in 1282-83. As a consequence, Strata Florida was certainly remodelled in the early fourteenth century. Thereafter, the Black Death (1348-49) and the revolt of Owain Glyn Dwr (1400-09) took their toll. Despite late medieval revivals, by the early 1530s the suppression loomed large and by 1539, Strata Florida had closed. In 1887, the railway engineer, Stephen Williams, began to excavate Strata Florida. The site was placed in state care from the 1930s.

Painted features have been recorded, including excavated traces of false ashlar in transeptal chapels and fragments of painted mouldings . The panel painting in the seventeenth century Abbey Farmhouse have been erroneously attributed to the abbey.

Sources include:
Robinson, D.M. 2007. Strata Florida Abbey: CADW
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 91, 110.


application/pdfCPAT - Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust ReportsClwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust Report No 1340 entitled: 'The Monastic Granges of East Wales: A Scheduling Enhancement Project' prepared by R. J. Silvester and R. Hankinson 2015.
application/pdfDAT - Dyfed Archaeological Trust ReportsDigital report on 'Later Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Threat Related Assessment Work 2012: Monasteries'. Compiled by DAT for Cadw. Report No: 2012/12. Project Record No: 102639.