Symud i'r prif gynnwys

The Records of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell By J. CONWAY DAVIES. It was, I believe, some five years ago when I had hoped to give you the substance of the present paper at your Annual Meeting. I then felt that further search and research were necessary before full justice could be done to the magni- ficent series of deeds which had just been made available, which threw so much additional light upon the origin and history of the abbey of Ystrad Marchell. Other urgent duties have prevented, until now, the completion of that search and research, if such work can ever be said to be completed. I am, however, very grateful for the opportunity you have given me this afternoon to give, at least, an interim report on certain aspects of these records and on a small amount of the great volume of the important new historical information which is contained in them. The Powysland Club has, in past years, devoted much of its time, money and effort to work upon the abbey of Ystrad Marchell. The series of articles written in the years 1870 to 1873 by Mr. Morris Charles Jones and published in Montgomeryshire Collections, with supplementary notes by others, provided a most valuable and comprehensive treatment of the foundation and history of the abbey, from the records then available. These must remain the main basis for any detailed history of the abbey. Then there was no vestige of the abbey or its foundations to be seen. It almost seemed as if the site itself was uncertainly known. But, in 1890 the site of the abbey was excavated under the skilled direc- tion of Mr. Stephen W. Williams, and important discoveries were made through the enthusiasm and financial help of the Powysland Club. It was proved, for instance, that in length of nave Ystrad Marchell ranked second to Cwmhir alone of the major Welsh ecclesiastical houses, and that in other dimensions it exceeded in size most of the great churches of the Principality, including the cathedral church of St. Davids'. But all this work was done many years ago and during the last eighty years medieval studies in the country have made considerable strides. In particular vast new and untapped sources of historical evidence have been made available, especially, for example, at the Public Record Office. Our principal concern, this afternoon, must be to make a brief survey of certain of the additional doc-