The tiny 13th-century St Govan’s Chapel is perched on the cliff at St Govan’s Head, the most southerly point on the Pembrokeshire coast. A tiny cell measuring 18 by 12 feet, dating from the thirteenth century, but parts of it – the altar and a seat cut in the rock – may be much earlier.
The saint reputedly established a hermitage here after escaping pursuit by pirates. Inside is the rock which contains a fissure, so the story goes, opened and closed around him, keeping him hidden until his pursuers had gone. It’s said that if you make a wish while standing in the fissure, it will come true, provided you don’t change your mind before you turn around.
On the floor near the main entrance, there used to be a well, the water from which could only be collected drop by drop and is said to be a cure for eye complaints, skin diseases, and rheumatic tendencies. St Govan is buried under the altar in the chapel, which bears his name. He died in 586.
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