The Mysterious Ruined Church of St Mary the Virgin

(Image: Saffron Blaze, cc-sa-3.0)

Located on Chapel Hill to the east of Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, Wales, the ruined church of St Mary the Virgin, complete with ivy-clad tower and overgrown graveyard, is a mysterious and historic relic on the rural landscape. Dating to the medieval period,  the church was restored by John Prichard in 1868 only to be gutted by fire in 1977.

(Images: Alby; Richard Croftcc-sa-3.0)

Today, the abandoned church – unlike some derelict structures – offers a pleasant and engaging reminder of previous times while providing a point of interest for walkers and an ideal habitat for wildlife.

(Image: Alby (topbottom), cc-sa-3.0)

The external walls and tower of the St Mary the Virgin remain standing, although the roof has long since collapsed. Half hidden amid the undergrowth, the churchyard is maintained by local volunteers while long grass gently protects the ageing gravestones.

Keep reading – explore 7 of the World’s Most Overgrown Churches and check out Mad Jack Fuller’s Pyramid Tomb.



  • Joe

    What happened to the people, and how did the fire actually start?

  • Ron Morris

    Same here Russ, This was my childhood Church too, The stories told today about this church are all untrue, The parish had stopped using the church in 1972 due to maintenance costs, (roof leaking etc) But the door was always unlocked to allow visitors, Due to the church being open to the public it was misused before and on the night of the fire. The fire being a very sad accident. Many think a lot of odd things about this church. But a pair of white doves have been nesting in the tower for years.


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