St Nons

Situated on the coast path overlooking St Nons Bay, and one mile South West of St Davids, St Nons well and Chapel must be one of the most idyllically situated monuments in Pembrokeshire. St. Non’s well is one of the finest examples of a Celtic healing well. The whole location is in essence Celtic, and for the modern-day pilgrim is a wonderful place to visit. The well has been used for healing purposes at least since the time of St. Non, who was born in the early 6th century, and probably for a considerable time before that. In 1811 it was written that ‘the fame this consecrated spring has obtained is incredible and it is still resorted to for many complaints’. It was thought to cure illnesses of the eyes, and sick children were submerged into its waters. It was restored in 1951 by the Catholic Church, who have a retreat here, and in the same year they also built the shrine to ‘Our Blessed Lady’ adjacent to the well, using stones taken from ancient buildings all around. The present barrel vaulting covering the well replaced the ruins of a more extensive medieval structure in the 18th century.

St. Non was the mother of St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales. Her house was on the site of the ruined Chapel near to the well which is where St David was born. Folklore says that the spring feeding the well was said to have appeared the moment St David was born.

Standing in the grounds of the St Nons retreat lies the Chapel of Our Lady and St Non, built in 1934 from the stones of ruined pre-reformation chapels in the area.

By road St Nons can be accessed via the road to Porthclais from St Davids. The coast path passes by the retreat and the well.

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