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Early Christianity


Holy Island

The island was said to be the home of St Molaise who is reputed to have been born in Ireland in 570AD. He came to Holy Island to live as a hermit and Molaise's cave is one of his reputed abodes. Read More »

Holy Well of St Winifred

St Winifride's Holy Well

The healing waters of St Winifred’s (Winifride) Holy Well have attracted pilgrims for over 1300 years and the crypt in which the well lies was stacked with crutches left by the cured invalids until some time in the 1960’s, though can still be seen on display. Read More »

Inchmahome Priory

Cloisters at Inchmahome Priory

Situated on an island in the middle of Lake Menteith, the only 'Lake' in Scotland, Inchmahome Priory is a ruined Augustine (The Black Cannons) priory founded in 1238 by Walter Comyn, who was the Earl of Menteith. The Earl is likely to have founded the monastery for the good of his soul, and to show of his status as an important landowner. Read More »

Irton Cross and Church

Irton Cross

There are two Celtic Crosses in Irton Churchyard, one is truly ancient and the other is a copy of the former incorporated into more modern grave. The ancient cross is thought to date from the early ninth century, before the Norsemen invaded the area. Read More »

Kilmichael Country House Hotel, Brodick

Kilmichael is possibly the oldest house on the Isle of Arran and is associated with the Fullerton family who were one of the two major landowners on the island. The name itself indicates the location of the house may be on the site of an early Christian cell dedicated to St Michael. An apparition of a Grey Lady supposedly haunts the hotel.

King Doniert's Stone

King Doniert's Stone

Two granite slabs carved with latin inscriptions and intricate patterns, lie near the edge of Bodmin Moor.The stones are the remains of crosses, and are associated with King Doniert (Durngarth) of Cornwall who drowned in AD 875 in the river Fowey. Read More »

La Hogue Bie

La Hogue Bie

La Hogue Bie is a major Neolitic ritual site dating back to 3500BC and one of the best preserved cruciform passage graves in Europe. Its passage is twenty meters long and is covered by a 12.2 meter high earth mound. The mound istelf is 58 meters in diameter and covers an area of 2400 square meters. Read More »

Llangelynin Church and The Holy Well of St. Celynin

Llangelynin church is one of the oldest and remotest churches in Wales; it dates from the 12th Century. Saint Celynin might have erected a religious edifice on the site in the 6th Century since St. Celynin’s well is in the corner of the church yard. The well is a small rectangular pool with stone seats and stone walls. It was reputedly famous for its ability to cure sick children. Read More »

Llddwyn Island

This island is connected by a sandy beach to Anglesey, and was home in the Dark Ages to a religious community, founded by the female Saint Dwynwen. St Dwynwen is a patron saint of Welsh lovers, and after her death the island became an important place of pilgrimage. Read More »

Llech Lafar, St Davids

Llech Lafar, a speaking slab of marble by the River Alun is referred to by Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881). 'The Talking Stone Llechlafar, or stone of loquacity, served as a bridge over the river Alyn, bounding the churchyard of St. David s in Pembrokeshire, on the northern side. Read More »

Medieval Heretics and the Green Man

There is a general acceptance that the Green Man is a representation of a pagan deity, but this is not borne out by the abundance of Green Man carvings to be found on or within Christian churches. Could this contradiction be the clue that will lead to our understanding of this archaic figure? Why do we find the Green Many associated with churches? Read More »

Mullinakill Holy Well

Mullenakill is just one of several places that claim to be the birth place of St Moling. Read More »

Penmon and Saint Seiriol

Penmon is a parish found on the south-east tip of Ynys Môn (the Isle of Anglesey). Things to see here include Penmon Priory, Saint Seiriol’s Church, Saint Seiriol’s Well, a dovecote and the Penmon crosses. Read More »

Pershore Abbey

The Anglican Parish Church of Pershore Abbey was originally part of an Anglo Saxon abbey, the ruins of which were thought to be haunted in the early 20th century. Read More »

Rochdale Rush-Bearing

Rochdale Rushcart

As far as I am aware Rochdale no longer celebrates the Rush Bearing festival, though nearby Littleborough revived theirs in 1991 and continue to celebrate it each year. Below is description of how Rochdale and its Rush-Bearing from Lancashire Legends (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson. Read More »

Rosslyn Chapel & Roslin Castle

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel is touted as being one of the most mysterious places in Scotland, especially with the current gloat of books purporting to show how hidden secrets lurk within every crack of stone at this venerated place. Anybody who has ever visited the chapel may feel that it deserves its current status, and I must confess the atmosphere even on a busy day is something to be experienced. Read More »

Royston Cave

Underneath the streets of Royston, below the ancient Icknield way lies a secret cave, rediscovered in 1702 and dating back perhaps a thousand years. The cave, which is a bell shaped hole carved from the solid chalk, has a multitude of early Christian carvings depicting saints and religious scenes. Read More »

Ruthwell Cross

The cross is thought to date back to the late seventh century, an early period in the development of Christianity in the area, which spread here from Northumberland. It has been recognised as one of the most important early Christian crosses in Britain. Read More »

Saint Chad's Parish Church, Rochdale

The oldest parts of St Chad's Parish Church dates from the early 12th century and the original church built by Adam de Spotland. There is a siting legend attached to St Chad's which may date back to the construction of this early building. Read More »

Saint Cybi and Saint Cybi’s Church (Holyhead)

Saint Cybi was said to be the cousin of Saint David (~500- 1st March 589AD, there is uncertainty to the dates), the Patron Saint of Wales, and the friend of Saint Seiriol who founded his cell at Penmon on Ynys Môn (Anglesey) with whom he would regularly meet. Read More »

Saint Mary’s (and Saint Bodfan’s) Church, Llanaber

Llanaber Church

Almost two miles north of Barmouth on the A496 is the parish of Llanaber, and the not to be missed, Llanaber church. It dates from the early 13th Century, and is dedicated to St. Bodfan with a later dedication to the Virgin Mary. Read More »

Saint Tanwg’s Church

The intriguing Saint Tanwg’s Church is situated in the sand dunes at Llandanwg, which is at the mouth of the River Artro, opposite to Mochras (Shell Island). Read More »

Spynie Palace

Spynie Palace

Spynie Palace was the seat of the bishops of Moray for over 500 years; the atmospheric ruins now a shell of its former glory. The Palace - like many old historical buildings - has its share of traditions and ghost stories. Read More »

St Aelhaearn’s Church

St Aelhaearn’s Church

Located in the village of Llanaelhaearn, the church is named after Aelhaearn, a disciple of Saint Beuno who travelled to the area in the 5th and 6th Centuries. In Wales this period was known as the ‘Age of Saints’ but in England, as ‘The Dark Ages’. Read More »

St Aelhaearn’s Well

St Aelhaearn’s Well

This well can be found on the outskirts of the village of Llanaelhaearn, on the left hand side of the road as you ascend the (B4417) out of the village. It is enclosed in a locked stone structure which was constructed in 1900, and it is in front of a house called Bryn Iddon. Read More »



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