Dissolution of the monasteries

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  28 minutes

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

The dissolution of the monasteries, occasionally referred to as the suppression of the monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland, expropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). While Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-general and Vice-regent of England, is often considered the leader of the Dissolutions, he merely oversaw the project, one he had hoped to use for reform of monasteries, not closure or seizure. The Dissolution project was created by England’s Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley, and Court of Augmentations head Richard Rich. Professor George W. Bernard argues that:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.

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Holyhead in Wales

22 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk - Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk – Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Holyhead is a town in Wales and a major Irish Sea port serving Ireland. It is also a community and the largest town in the Isle of Anglesey county, with a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. Holyhead is on Holy Island, which is separated from Anglesey by the narrow Cymyran Strait and was originally connected to Anglesey via the Four Mile Bridge. In the mid-19th century, Lord Stanley, a local philanthropist, funded the building of a larger causeway, known locally as “The Cobb”, it now carries the A5 and the railway line. The A55 dual carriageway runs parallel to the Cobb on a modern causeway.   read more…

Tenby in Wales

23 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Tenby © geograph.org.uk - Humphrey Bolton/cc-by-sa-2.0

Tenby © geograph.org.uk – Humphrey Bolton/cc-by-sa-2.0

Tenby (Welsh: Dinbych-y-pysgod, meaning little town of the fishes or little fortress of the fish) is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, south Wales, on the western side of Carmarthen Bay. With its strategic position on the far west coast of the British Isles, and a natural sheltered harbour from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, Tenby was a natural settlement point.   read more…

Pembroke in Wales

13 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Entrance to Pembroke Castle © geograph.org.uk - Robin Drayton/cc-by-sa-2.0

Entrance to Pembroke Castle © geograph.org.uk – Robin Drayton/cc-by-sa-2.0

Pembroke (Welsh: Penfro) is an historic settlement and former county town of Pembrokeshire in West Wales. The town features a number of historic buildings and complexes and is one of the major population centres in the county. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII of England, founder of the Tudor dynasty.   read more…

Llangollen in Wales

16 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Plas Newydd © Wolfgang Sauber/cc-by-sa-3.0

Plas Newydd © Wolfgang Sauber/cc-by-sa-3.0

Llangollen is a small town and community in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, situated on the River Dee and on the edge of the Berwyn mountains. Today Llangollen relies heavily on the tourist industry, but still gains substantial income from farming. Most of the farms in the hills around the town were sheep farms, and weaving was an important cottage industry in the area for centuries. Several factories were later built along the banks of the River Dee, where both wool and cotton were processed. The water mill opposite Llangollen railway station is over 600 years old, and was originally used to grind flour for local farmers.   read more…

Theme Week Wales – St Davids

9 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

St Davids Cathedral © Chrisrivers/cc-by-sa-3.0

St Davids Cathedral © Chrisrivers/cc-by-sa-3.0

St Davids, is a city and community in Pembrokeshire. Lying on the River Alun on St David’s Peninsula, it is Britain’s smallest city in terms of both size and population, the final resting place of Saint David, the country’s patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of Wales. St Davids was given city status in the 16th century due to the presence of St David’s Cathedral but lost this in 1888. City status was restored in 1994 at the request of Queen Elizabeth II.   read more…

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch on the island of Anglesey

7 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

St Mary's Church © Necrothesp/cc-by-sa-3.0

St Mary’s Church © Necrothesp/cc-by-sa-3.0

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is a large village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales, situated on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. It is alternatively known as Llanfairpwll, Llanfair PG, or Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch. The community has a population of 3,100. The name means:   read more…

Fishguard in Pembrokeshire

2 January 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

High Tide © geograph.org.uk - Pauline Eccles/cc-by-sa-2.0

High Tide © geograph.org.uk – Pauline Eccles/cc-by-sa-2.0

Fishguard (Welsh: Abergwaun, meaning “Mouth of the River Gwaun“) is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300. The community of Fishguard and Goodwick has a population of 5,000.   read more…

The Wales Coast Path

9 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  5 minutes

Wales Coast Path logo © Hogyn Lleol/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wales Coast Path logo © Hogyn Lleol/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Wales Coast Path (Welsh: Llwybr Arfordir Cymru) is a long-distance footpath which follows the whole of the coastline of Wales. It opened on 5 May 2012, and offers a 870 miles (1,400 km) walking route from Chepstow, in the south, to Queensferry, in the north. Wales is the first country in the world to provide a dedicated footpath along its entire coastline. The Path runs through eleven National Nature Reserves and other nature reserves, including those managed by The Wildlife Trusts or Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Lonely Planet rated the coast of Wales first in its Best in Travel: top 10 regions for 2012.   read more…

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