On a recent visit to Ceredigion in Wales I took these pictures of some abbey ruins known as Strata Florida. This former Cistercian abbey was founded in the 12th century. In 1539 the abbey was ransacked and dissolved by those acting on behalf of King Henry VIII. This is one example of hundreds in England and Wales during the 16th century where Crown authority had become so corrupt and tyrannical that it led to an extensive anti-Catholic religious persecution which resulted in the State stealing church property and oppressing those who attended a Roman Catholic Mass. This national abuse of power continued in one form or another until about 1700, but it was not until 1829 when, by an Act of Parliament, Roman Catholics were finally allowed rights similar to that of Protestants.
On a personal note I am a late convert to the Traditional Catholic Faith. My appreciation of medieval architecture is best exemplified in abbey ruins which I find more pleasing to the eye than most modern dwellings or churches built after 1965. Strata Florida remains a beautiful and haunting landmark situated in the Welsh countryside where a religious community of monks once celebrated their faith in God. There is every reason to conclude that medieval man lived in harmony with his environment without having to worry too much about his carbon footprint.