Tintern Abbey

Ruins in Hook Peninsula

Tintern Abbey is named after its Welsh counterpart, from where its first monks hailed. The atmospheric remains of the abbey enjoy a lovely setting amid 40 hectares of woodland. Unusually for an abbey, it has a long history as a private residence. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in the early 16th century, Tintern was granted to Staffordshire nobleman Anthony Colclough, and his descendants continued to live here until 1959. The abbey is 11km north of Fethard-on-Sea, signposted off the R733.

William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, founded the Cistercian abbey in the early 13th century after he nearly perished at sea and swore to establish a church if he made it ashore. The cloister walls, nave, crossing tower, chancel and south transept still stand tall, along with the conversions made by generations of Colcloughs to create a country residence out of a ruined abbey.

Walking trails wind into the surrounding woods, past lakes and streams and more crumbling ruins, including a small single cell church, to the beautiful, 200-year-old Colclough Walled Garden, which has been replanted and restored to its former glory.