From the cliff the descent to the chapel is by fifty-two steps, although legend tells us that the number of steps cannot be accurately recorded and are never the same going down as coming back up again.
|Picturesque little hermits' chapel - near Bosherton, Pembrokeshire|
Legend says that pirates from either Lundy Island or Ireland tried to capture St Govan and that the fissure in the rock at St Govan's Chapel opened miraculously so he could hide there, closed over him, then opened miraculously for a second time once the pirates had left.
|Small cave within the chapel depicted above, click to enlarge.|
In gratitude St Govan remained in the area for the rest of his life and lived within a small cave in the cliff, until he died in 586. The present chapel of limestone was built over the cave and inside there are a few little steps that lead up to a small cell, which bears rib like markings. Legend says they are the imprints of St Govan's body as he lay hidden in the fissure of the rock.
St Govan was thought to have taken 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.
Another legend I found interesting states that King Arthur's knight Sir Gawain lies buried beneath the stone altar of the chapel.
|Looking back towards St Govan's Chapel, now entirely hidden in the rock.|
Go there if you get chance, it's really rather worth it.