It is well worth visiting the substantial remains of Neath Abbey, which we feel have a special atmosphere and a particular beauty. Neath Abbey is located in Neath (Castell-nedd) in Wales, which stands on the River Neath (Afon Nedd) and was once the site of the Roman fort Nidum in mid second century. Neath Abbey was founded in 1130AD as a house of Savigny and absorbed into the Cistersion order in 1147. It covers an area of about six and a quarter acres and was once the largest abbey in Wales.
The abbey was attacked in the Welsh uprisings in the thirteenth century and was eventually dissolved by the English King Henry VIII in 1539. It is said that it is haunted by the ghosts of monks who have been seen wondering the grounds. The abbey is managed by Cadw and is open to the public daily from 10am to 4pm and admission is free. There are significant remains to be seen, including those of a sixteenth century mansion built within its precincts.
Also in the town are the remains of a castle. Neath Castle is Norman and a ringwork castle was built on the site in 12th century. It was attacked on a number of occasions by the Welsh including in 1231 by Llywelyn ap Iowerth. In the fourteenth century rebuilding took place which gave it an impressive gatehouse. Only the remains of the D-shaped towers and arch survive. Also on the site are steps, foundations and a section of the old town wall.
Neath Museum and Art Gallery is situated in Orchard Street and open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The museum gives a history of the Neath area.