Monday, 27 May 2019

St Dogmael's (Llanduddoch)

Wales:  Our holiday flat was at the northern end of the sizeable and sprawling village of St Dogmael's (Llanduddoch in Welsh). The village is a mixed development, with old cottages, Victorian terraces (built when the area was a thriving shipbuilding centre) and some newer houses spreading up the hillside. Many of the older houses are brightly painted, and some are built in a local style, where slate bands run through the stonework, as in the house on the right edge, above.  

The oldest part of the village is centred on the ruined abbey, built in 1115 for an abbott and twelve monks of the Order of Tiron, which began in France. St Dogmael, after whom the village is named, was a 6th century Welsh saint; his statue stands near the abbey.  

You don't need me to tell you that, like all our abbeys, it was dissolved in 1536 on the orders of Henry VIII. The land and buildings were leased to a John Bradshaw, who plundered much of the stone to build a mansion. The ruins that remain have a certain charm and provide a tranquil little oasis in the centre of the village.

Further out to the north is another interesting building, now in private ownership. It's called Albro Castle and was, from 1840 to 1935, the workhouse for the area, taking in the destitute. You can see the different wings and yards, where men and women, children and the infirm were separated. (See HERE) In 1944 it was, briefly, a billet for American soldiers prior to the Normandy invasion, also an old people's home and is now being converted by its owners into holiday accommodation. (See HERE)