A spiritual and cultural powerhouse on the banks of the River Teifi, once famed for its impressive library. One of St Dogmaels’ literary gems, the 13th-century Eusebius’s Historia Ecclesiastica, survives to this day in St John’s College, Cambridge.
St Dogmaels Abbey was formally founded by Robert fitz Martin and his wife, Maud Peverel, on 10 September 1120, and built on, or very near to, the site of the ancient pre-Norman-conquest church of Llandudoch. The church, which stands alongside the abbey today, is of much later Victorian origins. Links with the medieval past remain amongst the ruins of the old abbey church where original 15th-century floor tiles can still be seen in large areas along the length of the nave.
The site takes its name from Dogmael, a 6th-century Christian saint, reputedly the cousin of St David, Wales’s very own patron saint.
Construction of the abbey continued from the 12th through to the 16th century when, following the dissolution, it was converted into a private mansion. High profile individuals such as Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis) and the archbishop of Canterbury enjoyed the overnight hospitality of the abbey.
In the restored Coach House there is an innovative museum and visitor centre that displays a collection of early Christian stones and the beautiful carved medieval stones that once adorned the abbey.
The Coach House also has a cafe that prides itself on producing freshly prepared snacks using local ingredients wherever possible and serves Fair Trade teas and coffees. The Coach House is operated by Hanes Llandoch.