Up until last weekend, every time I have headed south of Wexford I have headed south to the coast, and usually to the Hook peninsula. There is something there that draws me and as soon as I get on the Hook route I ignore anything I pass. That means that, until now, I have not stopped to visit Tintern Abbey. So, on a drizzly, grey day (the forecast was dry) I popped in to have a quick look.
The place is easy to find and signposted from the R733 – Wellingtonbridge/Ballyhack road. There are some curious features though! The car park is right next to the abbey – I am sure that it could have been moved a few feet away! And despite the fact that there is supposed to be toilets and a cafe I could not see any signs of them. I guess it is a bit late in the season but it was Saturday lunchtime. Anyway, admission is free and apart from the abbey there are miles of walks to explore.
The abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in 1200 and is on a small river that flows into Bannow Bay and Saltmills. The abbey was closed in 1536 and the land passed to the Cloclough family in 1562 (see tomorrow’s post). The abbey was their home for the next 400 years. It is now ruined but there are obviously parts of the building that are still in use – maybe as a cafe and toilets!
A bridge crosses the river and gives wonderful views.
There are wonderful woods to explore.
And the remnants of lots of ancient buildings. It is definitely worth a stop but, just to be sure, pack a flask of coffee. I think this would be a good visit at any time of year.