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Steps Back in Time :St.Govans Bay.

Updated on October 1, 2013

Our beautiful Welsh countryside.


Let's begin.............

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a day which I always look forward to immensley since it's the only day of the week my partner Dai does not work. Whether we go for a walk near to home, or further afield,go to the cinema, go to the Sunday market or indeed simply stay at home I really don't mind as I love this day no matter what!!

Anyway that's enough of my ramblings, on this particular sunny Sunday we decide to go and explore.

Where to go?

Well we decided to head south towards the spectacular Pembrokeshire National Park and on to St. Govans Bay.

What can I tell you about St. Govans ??

Mmm mm well at the moment not an awful lot other than it is a 6th century hermits chapel and is supposedly named after the hermit and saint who lived there so many centuries ago, thus St. Govans.

I have never been there before so I will fill you in with the story as I go along.

Oh I can't wait!!

We drive along in our new Mondeo ( or rather Dai is driving as I never felt the need to learn) ( I think the majority of motorists in West Wales and far beyond should be very grateful that I don't). Now then back to the matter in question and we are flowing through the Welsh countryside which I am sure is equal to anywhere in this world when it comes to enchantment! We arrive at an MOD base and I look a little puzzled until Dai assures me

"Yes we are going the right way!!"

"Trust me!'" he says.

I do, of course I do hmmmmm!!


In the next instant my breath is swept away as we arrive at our destination!! I get out of the car as if in a trance, as I walk over to the fence where there is an arrow pointing downwards. The view is breathtaking as I take in the gleaming sea bobbing gently in and out of the bay. My eyes follow the direction of the arrow and I see very many higgledy piggledy steps .

At the bottom of these steps is the most quaint building I had ever seen built into the rocks. This building was St.Govans Chapel.

"Oh Dai what a spectacular place; this is amazing !!" I can hardly gasp these words out !!!

Isn't it strange that when we go anywhere for the day we meet up with someone whom we haven't seen for ages !!

"Well hello Dai fancy seeing you here !!" I turn round to see a local fisherman who only lives a mile or so away from us but we haven't seen him for months.

I can immediately recognise the signs that Dai and Ianto are going to have a little catch up so I decide to go exploring with an "I'll be along in a moment " from Dai.

"Yes yes !" I chuckle fondly and make my way down these steep steps.

Then all of a sudden I feel a little dizzy and find myself enveloped in a rose scented pink mist .......................................

There is some enchanted form of mystique present ;which I cannot explain......................

Just as quickly as it appeared it then disappears and I brush down my rough sacking robe.......................................


"It is now the year 490 and let me introduce myself "

"I am St.Govan" !!!!

"I was born of the Hy Cinnselach clan in Wexford Ireland and my name was Gobhan." "I was working in Wexford and the year was 490, it was very hard work as I was working as a cook for St. Alibe who founded the monastery of Dairins in Wexford." " I prepared food in the community and cooked for my Saints followers." " Our saint wanted to have the correct form of the mass therefore he sends myself and two of my colleges Lugich and Cailcean to Rome." " I was very sad when in 527 we had the news that St. Aibe had died." " I was summoned to return to the monestary of Dairinis where I was elected Abbot and baptised St. Govans."


"At this point I decided to stay as I knew that the locals feared the pirates greatly and I would be their watchman and protect them." " The followers built me a beautiful little chapel in the cliffs and the church named it after me ST. Govans. " "This is where I stayed for many years and inside the chapel there was a well whose water had healing powers and I treated many of the locals very successfully." " I cured eye ailments, skin diseases and rheumatic tendencies." " Oh how sweet my life was at this moment in time..........................................


"Many years later I decided to take a trip to Solva in Pembrokeshire, Wales as I wanted to find descendants of my beloved St. Aibe who was originally from these parts." " This is how I came to be here on this beautiful welsh jewel." " I was one day walking down the steps leading to the cliffs and the seas ,it was very strange because every time I counted these steps the total sum was different." " Not travelling very quickly as I was not a young man any more, I spotted a vessel out at sea." " I sat in a large gap made in the rocks and to my dismay it was a pirate's ship!!" " I made a very prominent sight in my abbot's attire and knew they would take me instantly and demand a hearty ransom." " I prayed to God for strength and to my astonishment the rock closed round me and miraculously opened again after the pirates had disappeared."

At this point I was once more enveloped in the rose scented mist ..................................


"Are you listening to me, you're daydreaming again aren't you?"

Dai's voice breaks into my thoughts and I find myself sat on the rocks below the Church.

"WWWhat do you want?" I jump up and make my way up into the chapel where Dai was waiting.

"Come in here!" he calls "I have never come across anything like this before !!!"


As I enter I link arms with Dai and act out the astonishment of seeing this mystical gem for the very first time!!

It was soon time to leave I take one look back at the bay and I'm sure I can see St. Govan stood by the chapel waving at me.

I wave back knowing that this would be mine and St. Govans secret!!

As we make our back we stop at the Ye Olde Worlde Café about half a mile away I knew that I would remember St. Govans for a very long time.

The waitress soon brought our order out; freshly baked scones, jam and cream. Then to wash it all down and finnish off a perfect day we had tea made with ground tea leaves that we poured out through a strainer. That took me back a bit too!!

I vowed to look up when I got home how St. Govan had lived the remainder of his years.


As soon as I had a minute I couldn't wait to check up how this great man lived the remainder of his life!!

This is what I read :-

'St. Govans lived the remainder of his life in this chapel, teaching, preaching and worshipping here in Pembrokeshire until his death in 586.'

'His saintliness was marked by the parish and they designated March 26th as St. Govans day!!'

'Outside the chapel stands a large rock boulder known as the Bell Rock.' ' Legend has it that St. Govan was given a silver bell which the pirates stole from the bell tower.' ' The Saint prayed for its return and the angels retrieved it and placed it inside the rock where they knew it would be safe, and St. Govan used to tap the rock which gave a note a thousand times stronger than the note of the original bell.'

'Tradition says that St. Govan is buried under the altar of the little chapel that bears his name.'


Well I hope you enjoyed today's visit to St Govans and will join me again for some more steps back in time.

Enjoy your day and lots of love from my little corner of Wales.



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    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much to





    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      6 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      You are very creative :) Interesting story :)

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      Barbara Purvis Hunter 

      6 years ago from Florida


      I thank you for taking me on this journey and I will remember this for a very long time. What an experience to journey with you to St. Govans Bay, and I voted up and twitted to my followers.

      I am ready anytime to travel with you on another adventure. Thanks for the beautiful pictures that made the hub come alive and the video to hear the salty waves beating the shore. Love it.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Lisa Luv profile image

      Lisa J Warner AKA Lisa Luv 

      6 years ago from Conneticut, USA

      Thank You for taking me into your beautiful and amazing world!

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales















      for all these comments. I am so grateful and have a wonderful day.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you as always PS and here's wishing you a great day.


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, Eddy, for this inside tour of St. Govans and the interesting story about the chapel. Those rock formations are awesome. And your photos are beautiful, m'dear.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I really enjoyed this great story, Eddy. Thanks so much for a piece of your history.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Dear Eddy, what a delightful way to tell the story of St. Govans! You certainly have some awesome scenery and buildings in your part of the world. I loved the collages, and the way you told this tale as you stepped back in time. A big thumbs Up my friend; Pearl

      Voted Up++++ and pinned

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      6 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Eddy for bringing me on this journey through your writing and photographs. Jamie

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      6 years ago from London

      Such a great story accompanied by amazing imagery, Eddy!

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Lovely story. Spring comes earlier in West Wales than elsewhere in that magical country!

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      6 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      What an inspiring place. Enjoyed and Voted Up.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eddy... I love reading of your date... sounds to me like you have a keeper in this man.... a romantic at heart who loves unconditionally.

      Much love from Canada

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You are like a wandering minstrel bringing us stories from the next village! So nicely done Eddy. Your pictures are beautiful and really make one want to be at St. Govan's.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub is a fun and interesting way to learn about Welsh history, Eddy! The photos are lovely, too. I'm looking forward to more of your hubs that let me explore Wales.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      There it is! lol! I have been waiting for another one of your 'day dream time slip' stories! this was brilliant and I really want to go and visit it now, wonderful Eddy! voted up and shared! nell

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Eddy…

      I was fascinated with this trip back in time…in more ways than one…with St. Govan. I have never been to Wales, but your story made me want to visit this wonderful place that is so rich with history. The rock formations along the coastline offer a kaleidoscope of color and form. :-)

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting, Eddy! Great pictures! The weather seemed to have been just fantastic for this trip!

      It's nice to discover special places. I know the feeling you describe; I have that often when I go on vacations.

      Thank you for sharing your escapade here... and have a wonderful Sunday!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      6 years ago from Georgia country

      A very fascinating story and stunning pictures of a wonderful place. I felt I was back in ancient times. You have so many beautiful places in Wales.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from North Central Florida

      Absolutely felt as if I was there!! I love adventures such as this And the photos and all made me wish to visit there. Thank you for taking me long on this grand adventure. He was quite a man, wasn't he?

      Angels are on the way, all the way to Wales, my

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      6 years ago from On Planet Earth

      Very interesting :) nice pics

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      So glad you enjoyed this one Graham and here's wishing you a great weekend.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much for your kind words spbooks. Have a great weekend.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much srsddn for taking the time to read and comment. here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much DJ your comment means so very much.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Jackie ad I wish you a wonderful weekend.


    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      A wonderful story Eddy, a great day out and a wonderful surprise meeting. Seems like a lovely Sunday to me.


    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Eddy- I love this, but especially the introduction to your hub- wonderfully done. The pictures are incredible too!!

    • srsddn profile image


      6 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      eiddwen, what a place! And you said it well. There is so much to explore in this world. Beautiful.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      6 years ago

      A perfectly lovely story.

      I felt I was discovering the history, right along beside you.

      Great job!


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Such a great story teller you are becoming! That was great, slipping right into character! lol I envy you the beauty you have, you are so very lucky. Up and sharing.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      So glad you enjoyed this one FlourishAnyway. Here's to so many more for us both to share on here.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much Shauna ;this is one of a series that I created about three years ago. The pink mist was the first thing that came to my mind and nothing to do with the rock.

      So gave them a brush up ,dusting and here we are.

      Glad you liked this one and enjoy your weekend.


    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Shockingly vivid images, Eddy. They are so beautiful and bright. The rock formations are interesting the way they are stacked on top of one another. I enjoyed the creative way you relayed the history.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      You told the story well, Eddy. St. Govan's is beautiful. The pink rock is fascinating. Is that what caused the pink mist? Wales is a beautiful and scenic place. With America being such a young country, we don't have the rich history you do. And Florida is definitely lacking the lush countryside you share with us.

      Thanx for sharing!


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