Visiting the castle




Visiting the gardens


Map of gardens

(1) The Linden Walk

(2) The Court of the Lions

(3) The Medieval Enclosed Garden

(4) The Panoramic Moat

(5) The Rose Garden

Sister Castle in Abergavenny, South Wales


Visit St Mary's Priory

Spotlight on our Sister Castle and Church in Abergavenny

Visit St Mary's Priory, Abergavenny, South Wales

Hamelin de Ballon founded St Mary's priory church in 1087. He drew twelve monks and a Prior from the Benedictine Abbey of St Vincent in Le Mans.

Close to William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, Hamelin also constructed the first wooden motte and bailey castle and was made first Lord Baron of Abergavenny.

The links between Abergavenny and Ballon date from over 1000 years ago. Several documents, cartularies and other charters, give a precise description of Hamelin's activities in Abergavenny. He travelled back and forth between Ballon and Abergavenny several times during his life. One can imagine that he found on both sides enrichment in material and spiritual ways.

St Mary's Priory Church in Abergavenny still exists. I would urge everyone to go there. It has been magnificently restored over the last 20 years under the active support and leadership of a trust chaired by Sir Trefor Morris whose enthusiasm is infectious.

The collection of medieval tombs, is unique - for example including a wooden figure of Sir John Hastings (+1325). The whole reordering of the Church has been done in a very delicate and subtle way, mixing old and new ornaments. Canon Mark Soady is the current Prior of Abergavenny and follows the Benedictine tradition.

To all our visitors, pay a visit to Abergavenny, following on the steps of Hamelin de Ballon; a moving experience.

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