The village of St Dogmaels clusters round its ancient abbey ruins and the more recent church of St Thomas (see above), alongside the ruins. The abbey stands on the site of a pre-Norman church founded by St Dogmael. The abbey, dating from 1115, was originally home to a prior and twelve monks of the Order of Tiron (from France), a Benedictine order. It survived, grew and developed for some 400 years, until Henry VIII's brutal dissolution of the monasteries when (like so many abbeys in England, Wales and Ireland) it was abandoned. It was plundered for its stone, for a mansion built in the grounds (now also disappeared), so that only ruins now survive.
The abbey ruins (left) and, above, a sketch of how it may have looked.