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Submitted on
June 19
Image Size
4.1 MB


266 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/2500 second
Focal Length
6 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jun 13, 2014, 3:18:01 AM
Paint.NET v3.5.11
Borderlands transformed by BricksandStones Borderlands transformed by BricksandStones

This is the view of the interior of the ruined Cistercian abbey in Tintern in Wales, United Kingdom. This abbey was founded in 1131 and was only the second Cistercian monastery in the whole of Britain and the first one in Wales. In the medieval period Cistercian monks were often given abandoned or uncultivated land from secular benefactors so that they could make it fertile and profitable with their good knowledge of irrigation systems, water channels and mill constructions and industry. The types of land often offered to the monastic order included swamps, marshes or arid terrains and borderlands devastated by war. Tintern was one such marshy borderland located in the Welsh Marches between the kingdom of England and Wales. The Cistercian monks quickly transformed the once depopulated wetlands into a prosperous centre of agriculture and industry as well as religion and learning. Monasticism flourished here for more than 400 years until the abbey was destroyed and the monks expelled during the dissolution of monasteries when England cut its religious ties with Rome and the rest of Europe.  After that, Tintern was largely forgotten, becoming the abandoned land it once was. Even after they were gone however, the Cistercian managed to contribute to the beauty of this land. In the 18th C. the ruins of their monastery attracted the attention of Romantic travelers and artists, and eventually became famous as one of the most popular tourist locations in Wales. Thus, Tintern was transformed once again as one of the most picturesque countryside locations in Wales.

The way this church looks today has little to do with its medieval appearance, originally the nave was segregated by walls and screens which separated its different parts for the use of different groups of monks. These walls were demolished to make the church more attractive to visitors but you can still see their remaining fragments at the edges of the columns.  Some writers complain that the ruin resembles more a type of a fairytale Disneyland than a medieval abbey but I think that with a bit of good will, the modern beauty of Tintern Abbey can still be seen as a contribution of medieval monks who, after all, managed to transform this borderland location into a beautiful corner of Wales even after they were expelled from it during the Renaissance.  

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yusefth Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014   Digital Artist
This is very beatiful!  ^-^ 
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
I am glad you think so Yusefth - thank you for the comment! I appreciate it :)
Marty4110 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Very fine image!
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
I am glad you think so! Thank you! Tintern is such a beautiful place that in a good weather it is relatively easy to make a good photo there - even for an amateur like me. I really appreciate that this photo caught your attention - thank you for the comment and sorry for taking so long to reply (again)! 
peterpateman Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful! :clap:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
A complement from a talented photographer like you is always appreciated :) (from anyone really :) ) Thank you for commenting - I appreciate it!
peterpateman Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're most welcome! =D
smallsofthamish Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
I am going to have to find this abbey; it's beautiful and your capture does it great justice. 
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It is certainly worth checking out! If you ever decide to go there, check out Chepstow castle. It is very close and it is the oldest stone castle in Wales, it is beautifully situated on a rock above the river and still preserves some nice Norman arches and remains of frescoes. Thank you very much for taking your time to comment - I appreciate it!
smallsofthamish Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
You're welcome and thanks for the info. Both are a lot more accessible than I thought: our son lives close to the Severn Bridge, on the English side. It would take about 20 minutes to get there!! Something to bear in mind for a day out when we next visit. :D
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