Nevern – St Brynach’s Church


   The church of Nevern bears the call of Brynach, a saint who founded the first temple in this place in the sixth century. He was born in Ireland, but he settled in Welsh Pembrokeshire, where he built a chapel around 540 in the Afon Nevern Valley. It was expanded during the Norman period in the 12th century, and then in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the 19th century, the Victorian renovation of the church was carried out.


   The church initially had a rectangular, long nave measuring 21.9 x 7.3 meters and a rectangular and also quite long, but narrower chancel on the eastern side, 14.6 x 5.5 meters, located slightly asymmetrically in relation to the nave . At the end of the Middle Ages, the church was enlarged by a massive, four-sided tower, added to the nave from the west. Like the nave and the chancel, it was reinforced with buttresses, and was also topped with a parapet mounted on corbels and a decorative battlement. On the north and south sides of the church there were built two shallow transept chapels. The northern one received smaller dimensions, while the southern one was divided into two bays topped with a stellar vault. In its attic there is also a room for a priest, accessible through a spiral staircase protruding from the western wall. Another two very small chapels were placed at the northern and southern walls of the chancel.

Current state

   Today the church is a well-preserved medieval village church of an exceptionally large length and an extensive architectural program. In its interior you can see a stone from the sixth century with engraved Latin and ogham inscriptions and a stone with a carved cross from the 10th century. Another magnificent Celtic cross from the X-XI century called the Great Cross of Saint Brynach, is located in a churchyard cemetery. It is carved with complicated zigzags, knots and geometric patterns.

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Salter M., The old parish churches of South-West Wales, Malvern 2003.
The Royal Commission on The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions in Wales and Monmouthshire. An Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire, VII County of Pembroke, London 1925.

Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website, Church of St Brynarch A Grade II* Listed Building in Nevern, Pembrokeshire.
Website, St Brynach’s church, Nevern.