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68 Correspondence* VALLE CRUCIS ABBEY. TO THE EDITOR OF THE AECH. CAMB. Sir,—I have just revisited Valle Crucis Abbey, for the first time these eighteen years ! I had not set foot within those sacred precincts since the excavations had been made by Lord Dungannon and Mr. Wynne of Peniarth, and I was desirous of renewing my impressions. I am sorry to say that I do not consider those excavations altogether satisfactory : they seem to have been done in rather a "%botchy" manner; there is a good deal of the real Celtic want of tidiness and finish in them ; and I doubt very much as to their completeness. I am aware that a good many years have now elapsed since they were carried out, and that turf and weeds have grown meantime ; but I do not see sufficient evidence, nor could I collect it on the spot, that the real base-line, and that the whole of the floor-level, had been accurately determined. I did not observe that much in the way of excavation had been done on the outside of the building. Still I do not deny that a great improvement has been effected : I only wish it were more worthy of the commemorative tablet placed in the south aisle of the nave. In this aisle I found a vast number of capitals of shafts piled against the wall. Now these remains deserve to be taken better care of: they belong to a most interesting period of national art, when the architecture of Wales had not been so far influenced by that of Eng¬ land as to have lost most of its distinctive peculiarities. These capitals, like all the details of this abbey and those of Strata Florida, Cymmer, Cwm-Hir, Talley, Whitland, etc., all demand careful study. They may be called types sui generis ; and they ought to be, at least, shel¬ tered from the weather. I may here remark that our Association has been remiss in not properly illustrating the history of this abbey. The historical account of it which appeared in our first volume requires revision; or rather a fresh, separate, monographic account of the abbey,—not confined to the pages of our Journal, but constituting a distinct volume,—ought to be compiled; and it should be illustrated in a scientific and profes¬ sional manner by some competent architect. I know of no ecclesias¬ tical building in Wales, in a state of ruin, that offers a grander subject for a new and complete history. If Mr. Freeman and Mr. Basil Jones would take the matter in hand, we might hope to see as good a work produced as their excellent history of St. David's. Before proceeding further, let me say that this abbey is exposed to peculiar danger, arising from the extreme beauty of itself and its site, and which it is difficult to prevent. It has become the fashion in