The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

St Govan's Well and Chapel

Sacred Well


A steep and narrow path leads down to the sanctuary, but the descent is facilitated by a flight of steps cut in the rocks; fifty-two steps a man would say who went boring to work by the ordinary rules of calculation, but it is very well known in these parts, that you might as well attempt to count the grains of sand on the sea-shore as to tell the number of these mystic steps.

... Our guide, anxious to witness the full confirmation of our faith, accompanied us into the interior [of the chape], where we beheld, suspended from the walls, several crutches, which had supported the crippled and credulous to the well, and which were hung up here in testimony of their cure, and as offerings of gratitude to their gracious deliverer.

With this strong hold upon our minds, our guide ventured to bring our belief to new trials, and leading us to a small doorway in the east wall of the chapel, pointed out a circular cavity in the rock, large enough to hold the body of a man. Into this we were to creep, and then to form what wishes were most agreeable to ourselves, which were certainly to be granted, providing that they did not prove disagreeable to the saint.

This little cell was formed by a miracle; the saint was once pursued by some barbarous pagans, and was running wildly about his cave, not knowing whither to turn for safety, when the rocks suddenly opened to receive him, and thus preserved his valuable life.
The two adventurers then meet a girl and a boy who have been drinking the charmed water from the well (regrettably with no benefit). From A voyage round Great Britain, undertaken in the summer of the year 1813 by Richard Ayton and William Daniell.

The authors also mention Bosherton Mere, an amazing natural spectacle very close to the chapel. You can see Sid Howells' picture here on geograph:
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd October 2012ce
Edited 3rd October 2012ce

Comments (2)

Brilliant, now i've got to go back.
You aren't half on the ball.
postman Posted by postman
3rd October 2012ce
It looks excellent doesn't it, I can't wait to go sometime. Curiously I've been to Stackpole once (whilst on a geeky lichen-hunting course) but it just goes to show what you can miss though it's only a tiny way down the road. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th October 2012ce
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