More cliffs and a bit of history...

by David Swatton June. 13, 2018 605 views

The last stretch of coastline I walked from Broadhaven to St. Govan's Head. The latter lies in the Castlemartin Firing Range, an area used by the British Army for live firing of artillery so it isn't always open to the public. Anyway, I made sure I visited on a day when the path was open.

Built into the cliff beside St. Govan's Head is the tiny chapel of the same name. It isn't certain who Govan was but he was en route to Wales in the 6th century CE when he was attacked by Irish pirates off the coast. He escaped to the cliffside, where the rock miraculously morphed into a secret cave for him to hide in (yes, it's true!!). After his pursuers left, Govan decided to remain in the cave as thanks to God for saving him. He set up a monastic hermitage in the cove, living off the nature surrounding, and remained there for the rest of his life.

In the century following, the cove became an important site of worship. The spring which the Govan took his water from could cure ailments of the limbs and eyes (yes, that's true too!!). Sometime in the 13th or 14th century a small stone chapel was erected on the site and that's what I visited below. Access is via a steep flight of stairs cut in the cliff face.

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Marilyn Grimble 1 year, 4 months ago

Fascinating story and wonderful photos. Mxx

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
David Swatton Replied to Marilyn Grimble 1 year, 4 months ago

Thanks - I've been wanting to get to the chapel for ages.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year, 4 months ago

Wow! Amazing seaside landscapes! Looks like you got plenty of exercise on that outing. Nice series and fascinating history!

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
David Swatton Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 4 months ago

Thanks - it's one of the best walks I can remember for a long while.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to David Swatton 1 year, 3 months ago

My pleasure!

:=D

Cheers!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
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