About this church
Today it is a Cistercian Abbey, farmed by the monks for produce and for flowers to make perfume. The abbey buildings and grounds are not open to the public, but parts of the island are open, as is St Illtud's church.
St Illtud's is part of the buildings called the Old Priory, not occupied since the Dissolution in the 16th century. After this time the buildings were left to decay, and the island was given over to farming. In the 19th century the island was bought and some of the buildings repaired, and in 1906 monks returned after a break of over 300 years.
As it stands today St Illtud's dates from the 13th century, but the famous Caldey Stone, found in the grounds and now in the church, has a 6th century Ogham inscription on it and also a later, 9th century, Latin script. The church is simple and serene on the inside, with pebble floors and stone walls, and very picturesque on the outside, with lichen covered walls and a tall, spindly spire.