Llanthony Abbey, Monmouthshire f.30
Artist: Buckler, Charles Alban
This abbey lies nestled among the Black Mountains in the secluded valley of Llanthony on the Welsh/English border. The Augustinian monks, who desired peace and tranquillity, frequently established themselves in remote regions. This often brought risks to their existence. The area around Llanthony had for centuries been a popular area for raiders and bandits to hide in. The monastery was frequently attacked and robbed, driving all but the very courageous monks away. The more law-abiding local inhabitants were also hostile to these religious men, having suffered decades of English invasions they were understandably territorial about their land.
The final blow came in 1539 when Henry VIII, wishing to break away from the Catholic Church in Rome and establish his own Church of England, forcibly closed down all monastic institutions and drove out the monks.