The Chapel of St Non is located on the coast near St David's. Held by tradition to mark the birthplace of St David, the ruin cannot be accurately dated but is unusual in that it is aligned north-south rather than the usual east-west. Near to the ruined chapel is a retreat, a modern chapel and a holy well.

The ruin is thought to be on the site of St Non's house and to be one of the oldest Christian buildings in Wales. In medieval times the chapel was one of the main sites visited by Christian pilgrims. Following the Protestant Reformation, pilgrimages stopped and the chapel was converted into a house before being used as a garden.

A large stone standing in the corner of the ruined chapel, inscribed with a cross within a circle, is known as St Non's Cross. The stone was found in the same field as the chapel and is either a grave or an altar stone. The stone is dateable to the 7th to 9th century, but there is no firm evidence that it originally came from the site.

In the chapel field there are a number of standing stones which may be evidence of an Iron Age settlement. It is possible that the chapel was built within an original pagan circle of standing stones.

A holy well close to the chapel was thought to have healing properties, and to this day visitors throw coins into the well for luck.

A modern chapel was built near the ruin in 1934 by Cecil Morgan-Griffiths, a solicitor from Carmarthen, using stone from ruined local chapels.



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Founded: 600-1000 AD
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Simon Cooper (8 months ago)
An ancient monument set in a high south facing meadow overlooking St Brides Bay. As well as the footings of the building there is a small shrine and spring. Ramped access is well maintained. On a warm summers day this is a beautiful and tranquil location
John Arthurs (Johno) (8 months ago)
We visited here on a beautiful sunny day in June and the colours of the sky and sea were amazing. Beautiful chapel and the bench outside was a lovely place to take in the serenity and scenery. Visit marred by one thing! Irresponsible dog owners not cleaning up after, thanks, and luckily we didn’t step in any of it and there was loads! Nuff said
David Houlston (8 months ago)
Been coming here for almost 50 years. The beauty and stillness never changes. If you want to experience calm in a fast world, come here and sit still
Christine Cheverall (9 months ago)
A very small but worthwhile stop. St Non is the mother of St David, and this is his birthplace. The Chapel is small, ruined, but very much an interesting space. There is also a holy well, reputed to cure infirmity. Easy to access, save for the last part, where help may be needed. Although the spring is probably big enough for a small person to dip themselves in, I would actually suggest just taking a few mouthfuls of the fresh, fresh water. And mind the water skaters.
Mark Horrocks (2 years ago)
(Almost) the end of a great circular walk from St David's. St Non's Retreat is a well looked after site set on the cliff tops a short walk from the town. In truth not much to see here, but worth a look if you are passing.
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