St. Non's Chapel

St. David's, Pembrokeshire

photos taken November 2002

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita.*

Many thanks to my 'editor' John Ball, without whose help the information on these pages would be full of errors!


St. David, the patron saint of Wales, is said to have been born in the 6th century near St. David's, Pembrokeshire, to a woman called Non. There is more than one opinion about who she was (see links at the bottom of this page), but there seems to be a consensus that David's father was Prince Sandde of Ceredigion. Non is said to have fled her home to endure her pregnancy. The child was born during a violent storm after a trying labor. She named him Dewidd and raised him in such a manner that he grew to be a man of holiness. He became Bishop of Mynyw and is said to have performed many miracles.

Anciently a chapel was built where Non is said to have given birth. The site is located a little over a mile from the center of St. David's city, near the cliffs by the sea. On a stormy November afternoon in 2002, my friend John and I walked from St. David's Cathedral down the lane to the reputed place of his nativity.

Pasture

Above: The lane takes us past houses, then farmland. In this pasture the cows ignore us and carry on with their grazing.

Setting

Above: Farther down the path we have this distant view of the site of the relic. Here the land slopes toward the sea, some places steeper than others, till the sudden drop-off to the strand below.

St. Non's Well

Above: This natural spring is St. Non's Well. The small plaque on the right tells the story: "Ancient Monument, St. Non's Well. This well is said to have sprung up during a thunderstorm when St. David was born about 500 A.D. Its waters are reputed to cure infirmities." The protective stone vault was added in the 18th century.

Shrine

Above: This small shrine stands opposite the well - an invitation for the visitor to stop for a moment.

Chapel ruins

Above: On reaching the ruins one's attention is drawn to the thickness of the walls and the obvious skill required to build them. Notice the slope of the land and the strength of the near wall. It's almost as if the builders are attempting to prevent the chapel's sliding away toward the sea.

Cross

Above: This stone, incised with a cross, stands in one corner of the chapel. Although it is obviously very old, it is doubtful that it dates from the time of St. Non and St. David.

St. Non's Bay

Above: From inside the south wall, John looks out over St. Non's Bay at a ship passing through this part of the Bristol Channel. The trail joins the Pembrokeshire Coast Path near here. We won't be taking that walk this time, but will soon head back to the car.

Sign

Above: A plaque marking this site was provided by CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments.

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Photos of St. David's Cathedral

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More information about St. Non:

St. Non's Chapel & Holy Well

St. Non (Born c.AD 475).

St. David's and St. Non's Well


*Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita who also holds the copyright. Should you wish to download any of them for any purpose (other than your own enjoyment), please credit Venita as the photographer and add my homepage URL: http://www.venitap.com/home.html

Comments are appreciated!

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