Tintern has been welcoming visitors for centuries and is pleased to welcome you to the Tintern Web Site.
If you look at a road map, you won't find Tintern, but you will find Chapel Hill and, just above it, Tintern Parva. These were the names of the two old parishes which are now combined into the modern day Tintern. With a population of some 750 people, the numbers are swollen by the thousands of tourists who visit every year.
Situated in the breathtakingly beautiful Wye Valley, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Tintern is situated on the River Wye, just six miles upstream from Chepstow and the M48. Now approached on the A466, up to 150 years ago, Tintern would have been reached by the River Wye. With a tidal range of twenty feet, Tintern has learnt to live with tidal flooding, yet the inspiring remains of Tintern Abbey are not known to flood.
For the last 200 years, Tintern has earned a living from tourism, and today this is the main source of income for those who still work in the village. A huge proportion of the village is forested, and until recently, many men in the village worked as foresters or with wood. A quarry was also responsible for providing local employment, as did the farms and small-holdings. For 300 years, Tintern had a wire making industry, (the first place in the U.K. to make wire industrially), employing many people however that finished in the 19th century, but not before making part of the first trans-Atlantic cable. Today most of the working population commute by car to the work place, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys.
This is border country - officially Wales, but in spirit neither Welsh or English - it's "The Valley"! Some of our visitors arrive on foot, because Tintern is on two long distance paths - the Offa's Dyke, which follows the Welsh border from Chepstow to Prestatyn, and the Wye Valley walk which will take you to Rhayader. It's a walker's paradise - thirty seven miles of footpaths in Tintern for the tourist to enjoy, as they explore the forest or the industrial archeology of the Angiddy Valley. Visitors can refresh themselves at several welcoming pubs and hotels in the village, and are encouraged to stay overnight at the several guest houses and BandBs. In fact stay several nights because Tintern is an excellent centre, as many attractions are easily reached within an hour, like Bath, the Cotswolds, Hereford, Gloucester and the capital of Wales, Cardiff.
The beauty of Tintern and the Wye Valley has inspired many authors, poets and painters over the years. The most famous painter to have visited the Abbey was Turner, and of course, Wordsworth immortalised Tintern in his work "Prelude", which includes the lines
"Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmer. - Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,"
Click here for the full text
Today, this beautiful area, deeply wooded on the steep sided walls of the valley, are still inspiring the muses, and you often stumble across artists trying to capture the beauty on canvas. The history of Tintern is as rich and varied as its scenery, and there is a deeply spiritual atmosphere. With all this beauty, history and atmosphere, no wonder so many overseas tourists include Tintern in their itinerary. You will be welcome here.
(Judith has been Tintern's local historian but has now sadly moved away to West Wales)