Wordsworth’s Beloved 12th-Century Ruins
You will find among the woods,” wrote one of the residents of Tintern Abbey, “something you never found in books.” Once a thriving center of religion and learning and the richest abbey in Wales, Tintern was 1536 by Henry VIII when the slate roof was destroyed, Tintern had grown to include the abbey church, chapter house, infirmary, and dining hall, their outlines still visible.
Marked paths through the surrounding woodland lead up to Devil’s Pulpit, a well- known lookout over the poignant grace of Tintern’s remains, the vista that likely inspired Wordsworth’s much-loved sonnet celebrating the greatness of God in nature: “And I have felt, A presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime. . . .”