Tintern, and Not Visiting the Usual Ruin

This past summer, I had to fly back to South Wales unexpectedly.  It was a sad family affair and I was only ‘home’ for a week.  A couple of days before we flew back to Canada, my father and I decided to take an afternoon and drive around a little bit of the countryside.  Wales is absolutely chock full of wondrous ancient monuments, from standing stones, Roman towns, Abbey’s and Castles. If you like this sort of thing, you are never far away from one.

We drove to Tintern, most famous for it’s Cistercian Abbey and many other historical spots.  Today we decided to do something different.

My father mentioned that there was an old church that had burned down just up the hill from the Abbey and he said he had always wanted to check it out. Who was I to argue?  This sounded awesome.

After asking around, we found the location on a walking trail map and headed up the hill.  It was an incredibly warm day (pushing 30 degrees C), so with no water and not properly dressed, away we went.  My father was 64 at the time and I’m a 42 year old smoker who likes to carry at least six cameras at all times.  The hike up was great.  Neither of us complained about the heat, and I haven’t asked my father how the hike up was for him. I know that by the time we turned the final stretch up the hill, I was a little short of breath.  However, it was worth it, well worth it.

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St. Mary’s Church burned down in 1977 and the graveyard is still tended to.  The remains of the church are considered unsafe, but that’s not going to stop the Weed family, is it?

We spent about and hour wandering around the site and graveyard.  The hike down was much easier 🙂

As with everywhere else in Wales, as I always say: If you have a chance, go.



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