St Govan’s Chapel
This tiny chapel hidden in a deep ravine in the rocks dates from the thirteenth century. There may have been a chapel or religious structure here in the fifth century making it one of the earliest places of Christian worship. It has been suggested that the chapel was part of a larger Hermitage but its history is unclear.
The chapel can be accessed from a series of steps cut into the cliff face. Traditionally these steps were thought to be uncountable. According to legend the cleft in the rock face was said to open and close to allow St Govan to hide from his enemies or in times of danger.
History does not record a St Govan, and there are a number of theories about who he may have been. According to Arthurian tradition St Govan is really a corruption of Sir Gawain, the bravest of Arthur’s company, who spent his life here after the death of Arthur and is buried under the altar. Other researchers suggest that St Govan may have been associated with St David.
There is a small holy well not far away from the chapel but it has now been filled in, in the past the well was used for curing lameness, rheumatism and bad sight. The local red clay was mixed with the water of the well and applied to the affected spot. It was also customary to apply water with a limpet shell.
Directions: South of Bosherston along part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path