Visiting Caldey Island


Caldey Island is often included in the excursions that can be made from the resort of Tenby but like all the islands lying off the Welsh shores it has a separate and mysterious dignity both as an island stormed by the seas and as a point of human settlement when men first learnt to master the ocean and explore the continents from them.

Under its present ownership it preserves this attitude of standing outside time.  It belongs to a priory of Cistercians monks of the strictest observance, known as Trappists.  When they came to Caldey in 1929 they were a colonizing movement in early medieval fashion from Chimay in Belgium.  However, they were not pioneers, since a group of Benedictine monks had preceded them in 1906 under Dom Aelred Carlyle.  They had erected the buildings that now stand, the priory itself, the gardens and the farms.  The Benedictines preferred to move to Prinknash in Gloucester. 

Caldey is no than than a fragment of territory 1-1/2mile by 1 mile.  The monastery and ancient churches combine with the sea air and quiet, beautiful surroungings to create a unique atmosphere of timeless peace.  You can explore the Old Priory and the island's simple but inspiring churches, the Lighthouse spectacular views of the Pembrokeshire coast and beyond.