The Picturesque Wye Tour | Taith Bictiwiésg Dyffryn Gwy
Dyffryn Ysbrydoledig - Man Geni Twristiaeth Prydain

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Devil's Pulpit

This narrow pillar of limestone near the edge of the Wye gorge has magnificent views over Tintern Abbey, and was a popular site with the Wye Tourists. Legend has it that the ‘pulpit’ was used by the devil to cajole the monks toiling below and persuade them to join him!

“On the opposite bank of the river, an ancient entrenchment runs some distance along the ridge of the hill, and one angle, commanding a splendid view of Tintern and the fair vale around it, is dignified by the appellation of the ‘Devil’s Pulpit’.”
Thomas Roscoe Wanderings in South Wales, 1836

Although the view of the Abbey is kept clear today by the Forestry Commission, it is evident that the area was much more open when Thomas Roscoe and his contemporaries visited in the nineteenth century. The hillsides behind the Abbey on the Welsh side of the river were also much less forested than nowadays. Notice also how the Abbey is surrounded by more cottages and houses in W H Bartlett’s 1845 lithograph. The ‘hovels’ have gone today, but there are intrusions into the picturesque landscape: car parking, tarmac, the visitor centre and souvenir shops!

Access

Access to Devil’s Pulpit, only about a mile above the river, is on foot up a fairly steep ascent. Start from the footbridge over the River Wye adjacent to Abbey Mill. Cross the bridge and follow the path around to the right for a short distance. Turn left between the metal posts and continue upwards. After a level area, continue upwards again, looking out for a painted stone on the ground saying ‘Devil’s Pulpit’. Take a left turn here up a fairly rough, tortuous path which crosses a forestry track and continues upwards. On reaching the Offa’s Dyke Path turn right and Devil’s Pulpit is about half a mile further along.

Grid Reference 543 995