On the broad neck of the Hook Head peninsula, 30km southwest of Wexford town off the R374, lies the dramatic ruin of Tintern Abbey, now surrounded by 3km of woodland trails and endowed with a café. This thirteenth-century Cistercian foundation was constructed by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, to give thanks for being saved from drowning at sea, and was populated by monks from its better-known namesake in Monmouthshire, Wales. After dissolution in 1536, the abbey was granted to one of Henry VIII’s officers, Anthony Colclough, who much modified the buildings, while subsequent additions, including the battlemented walls, were made by his descendants, who lived here until the 1960s. Only part of the original cruciform church is still standing but its tower is extant and includes a small exhibition on the abbey’s history.
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