Neath Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Nedd) was a Cistercian monastery which was once the largest abbey in Wales. Substantial ruins can still be seen, and are in the care of CADW. Tudor historian John Leland called Neath Abbey "the fairest abbey of all Wales."
Ruins of Neath Abbey
Neath Abbey was established in 1129 AD when Richard de Grenville (d.post 1142), one of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, gave 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) of his estate in Glamorgan, Wales, to Savigniac monks from western Normandy. The first monks arrived in 1130. Following the assumption of the Savigniac order into the Cistercian order in 1147, Neath Abbey also became a Cistercian house. The abbey was ravaged by the Welsh uprisings of the 13th century. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII the last abbot, Lleision ap Thomas, managed to buy time through payment of a large fine in 1536, but the abbey was dissolved in 1539. At this time, the abbey was turned into a large estate. Sir Philip Hoby was the last occupant of the estate.