Monastic Wales.

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Aberconwy 1 (Abbey)

also known as: Conwy 1

Order: Cistercian

The community originally settled at Rhedenog-fel (Rhedynog Felen), Conwy, south of Caernarfon, but moved c. 1192, and finally relocated in 1283 to Maenan.
The monastery flourished under the patronage of the princes of Gwynedd, and abbots of Aberconwy acted as their advisors and emissaries; a number of the rulers requested burial in the abbey. Aberconwy soon became the leading monastery in North Wales.

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Dedicated to: Virgin Mary Medieval Diocese: Bangor
Affiliated to: Strata Florida (mother-house)
Lordship at foundation: Gwynedd
Access: Public access to the Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints
Owned by: Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Main events in the history of this site

1186Foundation - Aberconwy was founded on 24 July 1186 and colonised by monks from Strata Florida.  [3 sources]
1192Relocation - The austere conditions at Rehednog-fel prompted the monks to relocate. [1 source]
c.1200Patronage - Llywelyn ab Iowerth gave the community the township of Nanhwynain. [1 source]
1216Burial - Hywel ap Gruffydd was buried at the house. [1 source]
c.1240Burial - Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth took the habit at Aberconwy shortly before his death and was buried at the house; his stone coffin can now be seen in Llanrwst parish church.  [1 source]
1245Destruction and compensation - The abbey was sacked and looted by Henry III's men who destroyed the church. [3 sources]
1246Burial - Iowerth the Great's successor, Dafydd, was buried at the house. [2 sources]
1248Burial - Prince Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1244), the illegtimate son of Llywelyn the Great, was buried at the house. [5 sources]
c.1255Patronage - Llywelyn ap Gruffydd granted Aberconwy the tithes of Llanbadrig, to reward the monks for their loyalty to him. [1 source]
1277Meeting - Llywelyn ap Gruffydd signed the Treaty of Aberconwy at the abbey and capitulated to Edward I.  [1 source]
1280Request for prayers - The Cistercian General Chapter agreed to the abbot of Aberconwy's request that the Order include Dafydd ap Gruffudd and his wife in their prayers and spiritual benefits.  [1 source]
1281Grant - The monks gave Llywelyn ap Gruffydd £40 as a mark of their gratitude for his kindness. [1 source]
c.1283-4Relocation - Edward I compelled the monks to relocate to Maenan, some seven miles away. [2 sources]
1283Occupation - In 1283 (13 March-9 May) Edward I quartered at Aberconwy for the last months of his campaign against the Welsh. [2 sources]
+ 11 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Abbots of Conwy

Dafydd ap Llywelyn , prince of Gwynedd (patron; buried at house)

Edward I , king of England , lord of Ireland, duke of Aquitaine (stays; relocates house)

Gruffudd ap Cynan (benefactor; buried at house)

Gruffudd ap Llywelyn , ruler in Wales (Buried at the abbey)

Henry III , king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine (causes destruction)

Hywel ap Gruffudd (buried at the house)

Llywelyn ab Iorwerth; Llywelyn Fawr , prince of Gwynedd (patron; buried at house)

Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd , lord of Aston; prince of Gwynedd (patron)

Bibliographical sources

44 Printed sources

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6 On-line sources

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Archival sources

The National Archives, 'Agreement between Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Maredudd ap Rhys', (Document), (View website)

Britih Library, 'The Register and Chronicle of the abbey of Aberconwy', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

The Cistercians in Wales, Professor Janet Burton
Who were the Cistercians?, Professor Janet Burton

Images of this site

Exterior of the Church of St Mary, Conwy

Exterior of the Church of St Mary, Conwy

Rood Screen, Church of St Mary and All Saints, Conwy

Rood Screen, Church of St Mary and All Saints, Conwy

Exterior of the Church of St Mary, Conwy

Conwy, OS Grid:SH7816377526
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