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.
Above: The lane takes us past
houses, then farmland. In this pasture the cows ignore us and carry on
with their grazing.
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.
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.
Above: This small shrine stands opposite
the well - an invitation for the visitor to stop for a moment.
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.
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.
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
near here. We won't be taking that walk this time, but will soon
head back to the car.
Above: A plaque marking this site was
provided by CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments.
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|*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
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