St Non's Chapel and Holy Well, near St David's, Pembrokeshire
20 Jan 1998
Agfa ePhoto307 digital
Note 1: The westernmost headlands of Dewisland, facing across the Atlantic, comprise some of the most dramatic and long-settled stretches of coastline in Wales. Among the reminders of St Davids' immense importance as a place of religious pilgrimage in the Middle Ages are two ancient chapels sited close to the cliffs' edges. To the south of St Davids city, overlooking Skomer Island and St Brides Bay, can be found St Non's Chapel, now represented by footings and a ruinous wall, but reputedly built on the site where St Non gave birth to St David. Just to the north-east is a covered holy well where water can still be taken. Though a significant place of pilgrimage in the medieval period, it fell into disuse after the Reformation and was used as a vegetable garden. Arguably it has regained a role as a place of pilgrimage, solitude and reflection for the many tourists who now travel the coastal path or make the short walk from St Davids. [Extract from: Pembrokeshire, Historic Landscapes from the Air, by Toby Driver, RCAHMW, Aberystwith, 2007]
The chapel was first mentioned in 1335, having a 7th-9th century cross-inscribed stone built into its fabric (see right).
[Source: Coflein database (NPRN 301109)]
Note 2: The medieval well head was restored in the 18th century, and coins were found there during cleaning in 1825. The well was restored and re-dedicated in 1951 as Roman Catholic, associated with St Non's Passion Fathers monastery.
The well is set on the northeast of a possible precinct enclosure associated with St Non's Chapel [Source: Coflein database (NPRN 32511)]
Above: St Non's Well, near the chapel