Hundreds of people were welcomed to the first-ever open event at Whitland Abbey recently.

The historic site - once was the mother Abbey for the Cistercians in Wales and a thriving community of over 100 monks - was taking part in the Cadw Open Doors event in September, and did so in style.

Amongst more than 430 visitors were over 130 children from two local schools. The youngsters went along on the Friday, and many of them enjoyed themselves so much they brought back their families on the Saturday. All were welcomed, with loads of activities and things to enjoy.

The event started with a blessing from Mother Christine, the Abbess of the nearby Holy Cross Abbey, a Cistercian order community, which beautifully linked the past and present of the area.

Over the two days there were talks on the history of the Abbey, an exploration of the energy maps at the site and quizzes. A highlight of the Saturday was the Whitland and District Male Voice Choir – a stunning performance very much appreciated by the many who sat in the abbey in the sunshine to listen.

There was plenty to get involved in, too: garden Jenga, noughts and crosses and Connect4, a chance to see and find out about real armour and the herbs and spices that were used in medieval times, as well as demonstrations of scything and archery.

There were also a variety of stalls offering the sorts of things that were available in medieval times: cheese, wine, honey, jams, chutneys, herbs and spices, pottery. Many of the stallholders dressed up to suit the occasion, so there were plenty of monks and ladies around.

A spokesperson for Whitland Abbey Friends, who organised the event, said: "The space allowed people to roam and explore at their own pace, and meant the event had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

"This included being able to use the lovely private garden area that links with the abbey for refreshments. The event was put on to raise awareness of Whitland Abbey as a place with history, a place worth visiting, and this was most certainly done.

"We wish to thank all of those individuals, groups, and town and community councils who so generously supported us and enabled us to provide the event, and to the people who came and joined with us in celebrating Whitland abbey - its past, the present, and our hopes for its future."