Dating to the early 12th century, St Dogmaels Abbey was founded by the Norman Lord of Cemais, Robert Fitzmartin for a small community of Tironian Monks who later founded another Abbey on Caldey Island.
The Tironians were a reformed branch of the Benedictine order and had a fairly austere lifestyle. This, however, did not protect them from the ravages of the plague or financial disaster as the decline of the order continued throughout the 14th & 15th centuries.
By the Dissolution in 1511 they had just eight resident monks. The Abbey ruins span four centuries and a further description can be found on the Castles Wales website.
A Heritage Centre (see pictures below) was opened by Rhodri Morgan in September 2008 with a small museum, gift shop and cafe (recommended - we often have lunch there).