Powys Digital History Project 

The medieval church 4
The monastic revival 


The Cistercians in Wales
In Powys the Cistercian order had great houses at Cwmhir in Radnorshire, the remains of which are shown in the photograph (below) taken in summer 1998, and at Strata Marcella on the Montgomeryshire borders, and through its granges it played an important role in shaping the face of the medieval landscape. Although Remains at Abbey Cwmhirvery much a part of an international network, the Cistercians in Wales were involved in the collecting and transcribing of Welsh literature, and were at the heart of the Welsh tradition of writing annals and chronicles of Welsh affairs.

New churches
Across the face of Wales hundreds of simple parish churches were constructed or reconstructed at this time. Many of these were the first communal buildings in the locality and had a secular function alongside the ecclesiastical.
As the church in Wales developed, a claim was made for the see of St Davids to be regarded as the Archbishopric of Wales, and there was much support for this within the Anglo-Norman church in Wales. In the end, though, the English view that a separate Welsh church would be a dangerous precedent meant that the English crown would always be likely to throw its weight behind Canterbury. A Welsh church which had Anglo-Norman appointed bishops who acknowledged the rule of Canterbury (even where they were Welsh), was much too useful to England to be surrendered.

There are 5 main pages on the medieval church in Wales. Use the box links below to view the other pages. 

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