We then went to Priory Pond which is now home to two black swans, usually native to Australia.

They are very distinctive looking with their black feathers and bright red bills.

From here we had a great view of the Lighthouse, although we didn’t have time to walk there on this occasion.

Caldey Island even has a Chocolate Factory.

The chocolate making room is where the Abbots Kitchen Chocolate bars are hand-made using the finest couverture (chocolate made with extra cocoa butter to give it a high gloss).

We bought a few bars of plain chocolate.  The chocolate is also available in the Gift Shop.

We then explored the Old Priory.  The Old Priory and St Illtyd’s Church, with its leaning spire, are among the oldest and most interesting buildings on Caldey.

The Priory was home to the Benedictine Monks who lived on the island during 
 Medieval times.  These buildings have been unoccupied since the dissolution of the Monasteries (between 1536-1541) but St Illtyd’s Church is still a consecrated Roman Catholic Church.

We lit a candle in memory of loved ones and popped our donation into the candle payment box.

We then had a look around the Church.

There is a table to write and leave prayer requests, messages or words of encouragement.

After exploring the Old Priory, we returned back to the village via the Nature Walk,

We had a little bit of time in the village before heading back to catch our boat.

There is a Perfume Shop where you can try and buy perfume made by the Monks of Caldey.

The Gift Shop offers a wide range of gifts and souvenirs.  

This shrine is in-scripted with the following:

Ave Maria Gratia Plena

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Walsingham 1948

I wondered why Walsingham was mentioned so did a bit of research (okay, Googling!) and found this out:  Since 1061 when Richeldis, a devout noble English noblewoman, had a vision of the Virgin Mary, Walsingham has been venerated as one of the holiest places in England, and countless people have visited the village to ask Mary to pray to Jesus on their behalf.During the war years, Walsingham was a restricted zone closed to visitors, but many service men and women showed interest in the shrine. On May 17th 1945, the American Forces organised the first Mass in the Priory grounds since the Reformation. The first Student Cross pilgrimage and the great Cross Carrying Pilgrimage for Penance and Prayer in 1948 began traditions that continue today. Each year Student Cross still walk to the shrine during Holy Week carrying wooden crosses.

As we had to travel back to school it was already time for us to catch the boat back to Tenby.  We didn’t have time to visit the Lighthouse, Herb Garden, St David’s Church and Graveyard or the old School House.  I can’t wait to visit again during the Summer Holidays.

While waiting for the boat we spotted more jellyfish.

The boat ride home was once again calm with beautiful blue skies.

We had great views of the colourful shoreline of Tenby.

As we came to land we had a great view of St Catherine’s Island again.  We looked out for birds nesting in the rocks.

Back on dry land, we made our way back to the bus.  On the way we passed the old stables.

We spotted some of Tenby’s infamous black “hanging toilets“.

We passed the Lifeboat Station.

We said goodbye to the colourful houses of Tenby and made our way home.  A good, enjoyable and informative time was had by all.

Have you visited Caldey Island before?


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