Abbey Cwmhir was founded on 1 August 1176 by the Welsh prince, Cadwallon ap Madog. By 10 March 1200 Roger Mortimer of Wigmore (d.1214) had annexed the cantref of Maelienydd in which the abbey stood and by a charter of that date effectively took over its patronage. In 1215 the descendants of Cadwallon expelled Mortimer forces from Maelienydd and resumed patronage of the abbey until 1241, when the Mortimers again took over the patronage. Except for a short spell in the 1260's, they and their descendants held it until the dissolution of the monasteries.
Although there are several Mortimer documents relating to the abbey there are no remains that can be connected with the family. However there is a modern grave slab set within the church ruins to Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the cousin of Roger Mortimer (d.1282), whose decapitated corpse was buried here after he was killed by a Mortimer army in December 1282.
Little now remains of the abbey except for a few ruined walls of the nave and transepts set in the most beautiful of locations as can be seen below.
Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry