Llanthony Priory

We edged our way up the narrow lanes of the beautiful Eywas valley outside Abergavenny to the Augustinian Priory of St John the Baptist, Llanthony – one of Wales’ great places, though remote enough that even Gerald of Wales didn’t quite make it there on his Itinerary, and sometimes post enough that its daughter-house Llanthony Secunda at Gloucester outshone it. The bulk of what we see now was built in a single campaign of renewal circa 1200, and this gives the ruins a coherent elegance and calm, that the overflowing glasses from the hotel formed from its west end don’t disturb. A striking mackerel sky enhanced the views as we ate our own picnic, before calling in at the parish church of St David next door and giving thanks for a glorious day.

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