Isle of Albion
Slight remains of a Cistercian abbey.
Photographed: Saturday 3rd April 2010
Other Names: Abaty Cymer
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Cymer Abbey was founded in 1198AD by Maredudd ap Cynan. It was colonised by a delegation of Cistercian monks from Abbey Cwmhir. It never achieved any great wealth or influence, and suffered badly during the wars between England and Wales. The modest income of the abbey was largely generated from mining the local hills, and rearing horses for the nobility.

Cymer Abbey survived until it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537AD. Its modest buildings quickly deteriorated and were plundered for their stone.

Today, only the shell of the church survives. Unlike the great churches of other Cistercian religious houses, Cymer Abbey lacks aisles or transepts - a reflection of its relative poverty.

The ruins are underwhelming, but the secluded location provides a tranquil and picturesque setting that lends an evocative atmosphere to the site. Cymer Abbey is probably not worth making any great effort to visit, but it's worthy of a short detour if you find yourself in the area.