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St Brynach's Church, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Brynach

Built: 15th century
Restored: 1863
Photography: John Ball
Date: 1 June 2003
Camera: Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom digital

St Brynach's Church, Nevern

St Brynach's Church, Nevern

Note 1: The long nave and chancel (below) may be all of the 15th century as no features are earlier than that. There are transeptal chapels on each side, that on the south being rib-vaulted in two bays. The pier and two arches are Victorian insertions below a wider flatter original single arch. Two chapel windows have an Ogham stone and another tombstone as sills. The west tower is 16th century. Some restoration was carried out in 1863. South of the church is a very fine Celtic cross of circa 1000.
[Source: The Old Parish Churches of South-West Wales, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1994; ISBN 1-871731-19-4]

St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Above: The nave, chancel and east window.

Below: The nave viewed from the pulpit.
St Brynach's Church, Nevern
East Wndow, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Above: East window.
  Baptismal Font, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Above: Font.

Note 2: In the nave there are a pair of ancient stones embedded into the window sills of the south wall. The first (shown below), known as the Maglocunus Stone, is 5th or early 6th century and bears early Celtic Ogham script, and (fainter, on the top) Latin inscriptions. The translation of the Ogham is "MAGLICUNAS MAQI CLUTR[]". The Latin inscription reads "MAGLOCVN(i) FILI CLVTOR", which translates as "(The stone) OF MAGLOCUNUS SON OF CLUTORIUS".
[Sources: G L Wilson's Sites and Stones website, and Jeffrey Thomas's Castle Wales website]

Maglocunus Stone, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Above: Ogham script on the front edge of the Maglocunus Stone

By referring to the Ogham alphabet (below), and bearing in mind that Ogham is read from right to left, the
first three characters of MAGLICUNAS can be deciphered.

Below: The Ogham Alphabet.
Ogham alphabet
For further details of Ogham, see the website.

Note 3: In the adjacent window sill (below) the Cross Stone is embedded. This shows a form of Celtic cross made of intertwining cords, and resembling a prone human figure.
[Source: G L Wilson's Sites and Stones website]

Cross Stone, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Above: The Cross Stone, bearing an early 10th century Celtic cross design, resembling a human figure.

Warren memorial stone, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Left: 18th century memorial stone inside the church.

lyeth in this Vault
in hopes of A Joyfull
Resurrection the Body
of Katherine Warren
Wife to John Warren
Esqr of Trewern who
Departed this life
March the 5th Anno Dom
1720 Aged 39 years. She
Was the youngest
Daughter of Lewis
Wogan Esqr Wistown [Wiston]
By Anne Loyd Daughter
to James Loyd Esqr of
Killrue [Kilrue] and Cohiers [co-heirs] to
her Mother. She was
the Mother of Seven
Children Anne Mary
And James Warren
Desceased Four now
Living William John
Jane and Elizabeth
Envy not my happiness
For I am Gone before
Prepared be to Follow Me
And live for ever more

Below: The Vitalianus Stone
Vitalianus Stone, St Brynach's Church, Nevern

Note 4: The Vitalianus Stone (right) is an early Christian stone standing in the churchyard bearing a Latin inscription of the 5th or early 6th century: VITALIANA / EMERETO – "(The stone) of Vitalianus Emereto". Vitalianus and Emeritus were common names of this period. Along the left angle of the face is an Ogham inscription: VITALIAN(o).
[Adapted from Jeffrey Thomas's Castle Wales website]

Note 5: The Nevern Great Cross (shown below) on the south side of the church dates from the 10th century or early 11th century. It consists of two sections fitted together with a mortice and tenon joint, both cut from the local dolerite stone. It has classic braided decorations and inscriptions reading "dns" on one side and "" on the other.
[Source: Wikipedia website]

Note 6: The large, impressive cross at Nevern churchyard is closely related in style to the cross at Carew (Pembrokeshire), and is of a similar late 10th or early 11th century date. Like the Carew Cross, it is inscribed on the shaft – on the front, the Latin inscription reads: H/AN/.EH, and on the back: DNS. The meaning of the first is uncertain, but DNS is probably an abbreviated form of Dominus (Lord).
The cross, fashioned in the local hard dolerite, comprises two separate pieces – the upper wheel-head and a shouldered neck are joined by a mortise-and-tenon joint to the shaft, which terminates in a slightly stepped base. From the side it may be seen how the shaft is reduced in thickness towards the top by means of a chamfered offset. The wheel-head has the same curving arms to the cross as are seen on the Carew Cross, a feature that characterises the 'Anglican' type.
[Source: Castle Wales website]

Below: The Nevern Great Cross. Standing 13 feet high, the Great Cross is believed to be one of the most perfect specimens of its kind.
Great Cross, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Great Cross (west face)
  Great Cross, St Brynach's Church, Nevern
Great Cross (east face)
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