Tintern Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Tyndyrn) was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, on May 9, 1131. Situated on the River Wye in Monmouthshire, it was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales. It is one of the most spectacular ruins in the country and inspired the William Wordsworth poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey", more than one painting by J. M. W. Turner and a band to name themselves "Tintern Abbey". The village of Tintern adjoins the abbey ruins.
Walter de Clare, of the powerful family of Clare, was related by marriage to William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, who had introduced the first colony of Cistercians to Waverley, Surrey in 1128. The monks for Tintern came from a daughter house of Cîteaux, L'Aumône, in the diocese of Blois in France. In time, Tintern established two daughter houses, Kingswood in Gloucestershire (1139) and Tintern Parva, west of Wexford in south east Ireland (1203).
The Cistercian monks (or White Monks) who lived at Tintern followed the Rule of St. Benedict. The Carta Caritatis (Charter of Love) laid out their basic principles, namely: