Cadw site

The ruins of the church and cloisters of the Cistercian monastery of Strata Florida are managed by Cadw and details of their opening times and rates can be found on their web-site. The visitor’s centre includes a display, activities, shop and light refreshments.

The ruins on display are largely the remains as they were uncovered by excavations in the late 1880s by the antiquarian Stephen Williams who was also a railway engineer and architect. Cadw and its predecessor state conservation organisations undertook some further, small excavations and conserved the foundations. Very few more substantial pieces of architecture survive, but a large piece of the west wall of the church with its magnificent and highly distinctive arch are still standing.

The arch carries motifs drawn from ancient Celtic art harking back to traditions long before the Romanesque and Gothic of the European High Middle Ages. Such art can also be seen on the grave stones reputedly marking the burial places of the regional native Welsh royal family.

There is, though, much of the European medieval art to be seen on the site as well, in the form of architectural sculpture and decorated floor tiles.

The Cadw guide book and exhibitions in the visitor centre have reconstructions of the Abbey as it looked in the Middle Ages and there is no doubt that it was once one of the finest complexes of buildings in Wales in its day.

Church and cloisters

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