Llantarnam Abbey, the Cistercian Abbey of the Blessed Virgin, was founded as a daughter house of Strata Florida Abbey about 1179. The Abbey was dissolved in 1536, after Henry VIII’s break with Rome. Llantarnam Abbey had four bells, weighing, in total, more than 38 cwt. The four bells were acquired by a William Jones of Caerleon, who paid the sum of £15 to have them taken down, the lead removed and melted down. It was reported that the lead weighed over 4 fothers. (1 fother = 2,000 lbs.)
A large metal ring in the pavement, originally a tyring platform used by the wheelwright, marked the site of the blacksmith’s in Llantarnam. That was providential because it also marked the site of Fr Lewis’s cottage and, later, the old Post Office. Today, the old Post Office is a private house. The owners have preserved the metal ring in a beautiful garden of remembrance, which they have lovingly created in honour of the last Welsh Martyr, St David Lewis.