As a child my father who was a keen historian used to take me to Margam Abbey, at Port Talbot. I was about six when I first discovered the magic of Margam Abbey and the legends which surround it. Established in 1134 by the Cistercian Order the abbey rose to be a powerful and rich order which employed lay brothers ultimately to perform the labouring duties which were involved in maintaining what became a huge and rich estate. This started a lifelong interest in the Abbey and the remains of what was a very beautiful site situated at the foot of Margam Mountain. Ultimately the abbey was raped by Henry VIII in his lust for money and power, but it has still survived to this day, an ancient peace pool in the early part of frenetic 21st century.
There is evidence contained in the Stones Museum maintain by Cadw and the Parish of Margam, of many of the carved crosses and grave stones which have survived from the Celtic church which was there before the Monastic House established by the Cistercians.
This is not intended to be an academic piece, but an account of my journey into the love of what I call the “twilight period” of our Welsh and indeed British history, the stone age, the bronze age and the iron age cultures which the Roman invasion tried to end.
I can remember being fascinated by the intertwining and very convoluted patterns carved by hand into these fascinating stone remains. My father cultivated in me a deep love of our culture and the art of the Silurian descendants who formed the Celtic Church. Little is known about this period of Margam, but I am making a guess that the present site of the church is one which stretches back into prehistory. So many of these churches were built on ancient established pre historic site.
One of the objectives of this blog is to share any research which I will collect on my journey into this misty era of our past and to convey my great love and respect for our forefathers and in this day of equality our foremothers. I would welcome you to join me on this journey and to share my fascination for the “celtic mist” which is the wonderful heritage left by my father for this iconic development of our history. There are many people of Welsh extraction living all over the globe and your input and interest in my starter blog would be a shareD fascination of our culture.http://MARGAM ABBEY