“Recent investigation of Skokholm by the Royal Commission using LiDAR has revealed extraordinary new details about the prehistoric and medieval occupation of this remote and beautiful Pembrokeshire island... continues...
A fire last year? destroyed a large area of heather and scrub above Fishguard's ferry port in Pembrokeshire. The land is owned by the National Trust and by Stena Sealink, and is used by grazing stock, fishermen and walkers... continues...
The parish of Amroth has as its southern boundary the Bristol Channel, and along a considerable stretch of the shore the sea has been encroaching upon the land for untold ages. At very low tides the remains of a submerged forest are visible. Bones of comparatively recent animals, the wild ox and stag, and flint objects in various stages of development and states of workmanship have been found, of which an interesting collection is exhibited in the Tenby Public Museum. They are all of the Neolithic period.
An excellent paper entitled "Flint-working sites on the submerged forest bordering the Pembrokeshire coast, by Mr. A.L. Leach, F.G.S., will be found in the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association for 1918 (vol. 29, part 2), from which the following remarks are taken.
"Amroth, Site B2. -- Below the western end of this village evidence of flint-working abounds on a site first noted in August, 1912, and examined each summer and winter since. The sea washes away the soft blue silt, leaving the flakes projecting more or less noticeably. On each occasion I removed all visible flints and by the time of the next visit a fresh crop had become exposed. In August, 1917, for the first time in my experience, the whole site lay buried under several inches of sand. Objects in flint and chert collected inclued: one hollow scraper, one long flake, ridge-backed and serrated (saw); two shorter flint saws, two conical cores, one core trimmed to yield small flakes, three contiguous flakes, three long cores of cherty flint, two cores of black glossy flint, ten flint pebbles partly chipped into cores, fourteen small blades, twelve large flakes, two calcined flints, some scores of roughly chipped and broken fragments."
A short distance east of Manor Home Wildlife Park along the B4318.
A real ‘blink and you will miss it’ place - in fact we did and had to turn around and drive back up the road! There is a small sign pointing the way to the church and holy wells along a narrow track. There is a small car park next to the church.
Wow, what a great church / graveyard – this place ‘feels’ really old.
The church is well worth checking out and has a wonderful tiled floor.
There are stone steps leading down the slope, past the graves, from the church to the holy wells. Judging by the crosses / candles in evidence this is clearly a place still in use today.
The wells are right next to each other and you could see the water bubbling up from the base of them. The water looked really clear and I even had a taste of the water (something I don’t normally do) – it tasted ok.
I looked around for the standing stone Rhiannon mentions but couldn’t see it. Hopefully it is still here somewhere and I simply missed it. It would be a shame if it is no longer with us.
If you like old churches / graveyards (and holy wells!) then this is a ‘must see’ when in the area – well worth a visit.
I picked up an information leaflet in the church which gives no mention of any standing stone but does say this about the church / holy wells: (summery)
‘The healing qualities of the wells would have been sought out by the communities that settled throughout the fertile Ritec Valley from earliest times. By the 6th century Celtic saints were at Gumfreston possibly living in bee-hive huts and using the wells for baptism. There is evidence of a ‘Llan’ wall around the church meaning it was an early Christian burial ground with a small simple church. The church porch of today could be the remains of that earlier church, with its original door facing the wells.
Gumfreston would have been an important part of the Pilgrimage routes in Wales., both for itself and St Davids but also stopping off on their way to take a ship for Caldy Island, Llantwit Major, Ireland and Spain.
The wells and church today are still in constant local use and attract many visitors throughout the year who come as pilgrims for healing the mind and spirit.’