Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Ruin of Abbey of St Mary
Yr Enlli / Bardsey Island
Situated towards the N end of the island in walled churchyard.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Ruins of the tower of the medieval Abbey of St Mary of Bardsey, an Augustinian monastery replacing the famous Celtic religious settlement founded reputedly by St Cadfan in the C5, and the refuge of the last monks from Bangor Iscoed, Clwyd, survivors of the massacre of 613. The earliest written reference is to the death of a monk in 1011. The bones of St Dyfrig and teeth of Elgar the Hermit were removed from here to Llandaff in 1120. The abbey remained Celtic and not attached to any order until c1200, but appears to have been Augustinian, under the Abbey of Haughmond from the C13. Edward I visited the island in 1284. The present building is probably C13, but the only record of building is of c1305, relating to timber from Meirionydd. It was one of the pilgrimage shrines of national importance (with St Davids and Holywell) to the end of the medieval period and then slowly fell to ruin, the abbot's house and a chapel with arched roof survived in 1774 but only the present building was left by 1846.
Ruined tower, rubble stone with some sandstone dressings. Square plan of some 5.8m internally and walls surviving to a maximum height of some 8m at NW corner. There was an entry from the S, single lancet E with sandstone dressings mostly robbed, but still datable to the C13. The second stage of the tower is marked by a band and there was a lancet to N. The big W opening appears to be a later alteration.
Walls are inset for a first floor about 4.9m up, inner dressings of the E lancet are nearly complete.
Reason for designation
Graded I as sole remnant of the important medieval abbey, probably on the site of the Celtic monastery.
Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]