Caldey Island, Wales

Caldey Island, known previously as Caldea alias insula, Insula Caldei, Caldei, Kaldey, Caldey, Calday, or Chalde Isle. "Cold Isle," from Old Norse kald, "cold" and  -ey, "island." The Welsh knew this island as Ynys Pyr prior to the arrival of the Norse.

The Connection of the
Isle of Standauffish Renaissance Guild 
to Caldey Island

Caldey Island lies just off the coast of Tenby, Wales in Carmarthen Bay. In the created History of the Isle of Standauffish Renaissance Guild it is the home of the Personas {characters} we have created in our pursuit of Historical re-creation. Unlike other Renaissance Guilds who re-enact History, portraying various figures from a chosen time period, our members develop Personas that could have lived in the time, and then build a story around that character. Who they were, what they did, who they interacted with, etc. In this way we actually live the role. Our members learn all the arts and other skills they need in order to make their character convincing. The ultimate goal of a character is that if one was transported back in time he or she would fit in as if they belonged there.

In this context we have picked Caldey Island as our home. The "current" year for our Guild is 1500, though we cover from the Birth of Henry VII to the death of Henry VIII as our main focus. The details of our History can be found here and in the map room one can follow the geographical development of our history and how we settled on Caldey Island as our home. As our story grew, many coincidences and interesting facts came to light that fit very nicely into our created History. For those interested in how we tied ourselves into real History, just follow the roses, and read the chapter "The World of Coincidences". For details on how the first five groups that made up the Isle co-relate to the actual island of Ynys Pyr click on the Rose below.

The Abbey of Caldey Island

The Island has been lived and worked on by Monks for nearly 1500 years. This unique monastic heritage and it's unspoilt natural beauty and wildlife, {the seal and bird sanctuary of St Margaret's Island} gives the Island an aura of peace and tranquility. Today it is belongs to the reformed Cistercian Order who devote their lives to the service of God within the monastery. The monastery, a splendid building with white walls and reddish tiled roofs, overlooks the village green.

The Abbey runs a website to promote both tourism and some of their products to help them survive on this tiny island. Visit them here to find out more about the order and the Island as it is today. The Monastery has run into some difficult times recently due to a major oil spill off their shore as well as day to day expenses of living in the modern world. This first came to our attention through the Templar Knights website. Please take a moment to read this copy of their newsletter on the subject, reprinted by the kind permission of Dame Stella Bernardi D.G.O.T.., Chancellor of the Grand Priory of England and Wales.


The Isle of Standauffish Renaissance Guild has pledged to assist this small Monastery in anyway we can and hope to be able to make their chocolate and perfume available to our members and our guests. Some of the money raised at our local fund raisers will also be pledged to the Abbey on Caldey Island. Watch this page for further details.

(If anyone would like to make a contribution to this worthy cause please send a cheque made out to "Isle of Standauffish RG Inc." to The Treasurer, Isle of Standauffish, 2585 Palma Vista Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada, USA., 89121 who will forward contributed donations in the name of the Guild and the Donor to the Abbot of Caldey Island.)

Today, the community of around 20 monks lead their according to the austere rule of St. Benedict, and attend 7 services each day in the simple dignity of the monastery church - the first at 3.15 am! In addition they farm the land and produce milk, butter, cheese, clotted cream, yoghurt, dairy ice cream and confectionery. Perhaps the most interesting of their business ventures is the manufacture of the famous range of Caldey perfumes and toiletries, inspired by the profusion of wild island flowers, gorse and herbs. Caldey perfumery was the first in the world to extract essence from flowers. A visit to the perfumery shop is a must. You can find out more about the monks and the island industries at the video centre in the village.

See also our Caldey Island Fact Sheet

If you would like to help with Donations

For More Information Visit Their Website
or Contact;
Address & Telephone:

Caldey Abbey 
  Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, off Tenby 
  Dyfed SA70 7UH, Wales 

Tel: 01834 844453 / 842879 / 842296
Fax: +44 (0) 1834 845942 
Tel: [44] (1834) 842632 
  [44] (1834) 845911 (business) 
  Superior: Rev. Dom Daniel Van Santvoort

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