The recording project was undertaken in collaboration with Professor Howard Williams of the Department of History & Archaeology, University of Chester. The Smiling Abbot is a sculpted stone which likely dates to the fourteenth century. It is thought to depict Abbot Hywel (‘Howel’), an abbot of the nearby Cistercian house of Valle Crucis.
A three-dimensional model of the Smiling Abbot. Click on the button to load the model and navigate. Click on the numbered labels for information about the sculpture. The labels can be switched off in the menu at the bottom right (Model: Aaron Watson)
A photograph of the Smiling Abbot sculpted stone, captured using oblique light (Photo: Aaron Watson)
A detail of the Smiling Abbot (Photo: Aaron Watson)
The photographs and 3D model will constitute a part of the archival record of the stone. The images will also be featured in a forthcoming paper which interprets the stone and its significance:
Williams, H., Smith, G., Crane, D. and Watson, A. Forthcoming. The Smiling Abbot: Rediscovering a Unique Medieval Effigial Slab. Archaeological Journal 175, for 2018.
Professor William's account of the work at Llangollen Museum can be found in his Archaeodeath blog.