A walk in the parish churchyard
The local community's own pastThe parish churchyard of St Mary's Strata Florida is a site perhaps more visited even than the Abbey monument itself. We know of its existence from as early as about 1535, when it was visited by John Leland, Henry VIII's official antiquary. He noted that 'the cemetery wherein the country about doth bury is very large and meanly walled with stone. In it be 39 great yew trees'. It is exceptional that a large and important Cistercian Abbey such as Strata Florida would have a secular cemetery right next to its church. This is one of the hints that the 12th century foundation may actually have been on an earlier site.
We have prepared a short booklet, created as a result of the fieldwork carried out by students under the direction of Quentin Drew, one of the co-directors of the research project. This is available for download in the attached pdf file.
A walk through the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Strata Florida