Strata Florida – sacred valley for thousands of years
If you haven’t visited Strata Florida yet, put it on your bucket list. As you arrive in this special valley you’ll pass the great Cors Caron, the vast Tregaron Bog, one of the natural wonders of Wales.
High up in this valley are early bronze age stones, set out on the hillside, bearing witness to the specialness of this a place – it has been valley where people have come to make religious rituals for thousands of years. There are streams and many springs, and these have connected with the religious traditions in the valley.
A Celtic monastery was established in the Age of the Saints, and today tantalising glimpses of the older Celtic establishment can be seen amongst the ruins of the later famous Abbey begun in the 12th century. In the centre of the present ruins stands the site of a holy well.
The lands for the new Abbey were given by the great Welsh prince The Lord Rhys after the Norman invasion of Wales, and here at Strata Florida, squeezed by the Norman presence to the north and south, The Lord Rhys built upon the Celtic monastery to establish a church that could stand as a vision of new, independent national Welsh church. It became a major intellectual, literary and cultural centre for the Welsh life with many of the great historic Welsh texts being written down here during these conflicted times.
Archaeologist professor David Austen has been working on the Strata Florida story of the place’s important for Wales for the past 20 years, revealing its vital importance to Welsh life and culture. When you visit Strata Florida the work of the Strata Florida Trust, established in the farm next to the Abbey, will guide you through the beautiful grounds, valley and history.
At Strata Florida you will find ruins, walks, streams, wells, hills, archaeology, the tree under which the great Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym is said to be buried, Celtic stones and a friendly welcome from the Strata Florida Trust.
Enjoy and plan your visit: Strata Florida Trust