Nevern is located in the north of Pembrokeshire in West Wales. The village is renowned for its historic monuments including the church of St Brynach, the remains of an ancient fortress and the Nevern Cross. Being close to the small seaside resort of Newport with its glorious sandy beaches and wide estuary its the perfect destination for a Welsh seaside break.
St Brynach's Church: St Brynach built the foundation church in 540 AD and the tower of the present building is believed to be of 12th century Norman construction. An Irish saint, Brynach travelled far and wide before settling in Pembrokeshire, and befriending St David the patron saint of Wales. Little remains of the original chapel other than a number of carved stones. Both the Maglocunus' stone and the Vitialanus' are carved with bilingual inscriptions of the 5th century Irish Ogham script and Latin.
The Nevern Cross: The Nevern Cross on the south side of the church dates from the 10th century or early 11th century. The carved stone cross stands some 13 foot high and has an intricately carved knotwork design. It consists of two sections fitted together with a mortice and tenon joint, both cut from the local dolerite stone. Inscriptions read "dns" on one side and "h.an.eh" on the other.
Myths and Legends
The Nevern Cross carries an old tale, which has been passed down from generation to generation. As the tale goes, it is believed that the inhabitants of Nevern would, on the 7th April of every year, (St Brynach's feast day) gather together at the cross, awaiting the first cuckoo returning to Nevern which would land on the cross and begin singing to announce the arrival of spring.
The Pentre Ifan Cromlech: Pentre Ifan is one of Wales' most famous Neolithic Tombs. A chambered tomb of the so-called 'portal dolmen' variety. It is a fine example of a cromlech with a 15-ton capstone intact. It stands some 2 miles from Nevern village as the crow flies.
Castles and Forts
Nevern Castle: In the early 12th Century the Normans under the leadership of Robert FitzMartin captured Nanthyfer Castle, a Welsh motte and bailey castle. The castle was strengthened by FitzMartin as the Marcher Lord established his hold on south west Wales. By the late 12th Century the Welsh under the Lord Rhys had recaptured the castle from the FitzMartins and banished the Normans from Nevern. The Anglo-Normans however, by now under the leadership of William FitzMartin, did not move far, and in 1197 they established a new castle, a town and a church some few miles south west at Trefdraeth ... the present town of Newport. Today, although any timber or stone structures have long since disappeared, a visit to the site of Nevern Castle will reward the curious with a glimpse into the lifestyle of a medieval Norman / Welsh settlement.
Castell Henllys Hillfort: Castell Henllys is one of many prehistoric promontory forts in the National Park dating to around 600BC. Iron Age buildings have been reconstructed on their original foundations. It stands some 2 miles from Nevern village as the crow flies.