St. Govan’s Chapel

Brief history:

Saint Govan (Welsh: Gofan) (died 586) was a hermit who lived in a fissure on the side of coastal cliff near Bosherston, in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales. Saint Govan’s Chapel was built in the fissure in the 14th century on what is now known as St Govan’s Head.

One story says Govan was an Irish monk who travelled to Wales late in life to seek the friends and family of the abbot who had trained him, variously identified as Saint David or Saint Ailbe of Emly. Another story identifies Govan with Gawain, one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table; another that he was originally a thief.

Govan was set upon by pirates, from Ireland or the nearby Lundy Island. The cliff opened up and left a fissure just big enough for him to hide in until the pirates left. In gratitude, he decided to stay on along the cliff, probably to help warn the locals of the impending pirate attack if they were to return.

St Govan lived within a small cave in the fissure of the cliff. This is now reached by a long flight of stone steps, the number of which is said to vary depending on whether one is ascending or descending.

The present small vaulted chapel of local limestone was built over the cave and dates from the 13th century although the site may have been of monastic import Originally St Govan caught fish and took water from two nearby springs. Both are now dry; one was where the medieval chapel now stands, the other, which was lower down the cliff, later became a holy well. A legend says St Govan’s hand prints are imprinted on the floor of his cave and his body is buried under the chapel’s altar. The cave was once a popular place for making wishes.

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Steven

My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine, Health.com., and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

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