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ST GOVAN'S CHAPEL, BOSHERSTON

Site Details



NPRN 95059

Map Reference SR99SE

Grid Reference SR96709296

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community Stackpole

Type of Site CHAPEL

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Medieval, Early Medieval

Site Description St Govan’s Chapel is a medieval pilgrimage chapel situated within a rocky gorge on the sea-coast, accessed by around 50 stone steps in the limestone cliff. The building is late medieval but may be on the site of an early medieval hermitage. It was formerly a dependent chapelry of St Michael and All Angels, Bosherston (NPRN 100610). The chapel is for its miraculous cure of lameness and eye diseases. It is associated with holy well (NPRN 32502), also dedicated to St Govan and sited some 17m south of the chapel. The red clay soil from around the chapel is also said to have healing qualities, being applied to the eyes and limbs in poultice form.

The chapel is thought to date to the 13th- to 14th- centuries and is constructed of limestone, giving it the appearance of . It has a single chamber, 18' by 12', entered by a pointed doorway to the north, and there is an empty bell-cote over the west end. The building has a modern slate roof and early or original small windows. The interior has plastered walls and vault, low benches to the north and south sides, and a piscina in the south wall, beneath which a spring flows. The rough stone floor is probably recent.

Sources include:

Cadw, listed buildings database
Dyfed Archaeological Trust, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer
Jones, F. 1992, The Holy Wells of Wales

N Vousden, 10 November 2017

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