On a misty Sunday morning, we visit LLanthony Priory, a partly ruined former Augustinian priory in the secluded Vale of Ewyas, in the Black Mountain region of Brecon Beacons in Monmouthshire, South East Wales.
In around 1100, Norman nobleman Walter de Lacy reputedly came upon a ruined chapel of St. David in this location and was inspired to devote himself to solitary prayer and study.
He was soon joined by Ersinius, a former Chaplain to Queen Matilda, the wife of King Henry I, and then a band of followers. By 1118, a group of around 40 monks from England had founded the first priory of Canons Regular in Wales. The Welsh were none too pleased with the arrival of these Norman and English interlopers and regularly attacked the Priory until in 1135 the monks retreated to Gloucester where they founded a secondary cell, Llanthony Secunda. In around 1186, Hugh de Lacy- the fifth Baron, rebuilt the priory church, which was completed by 1217.