The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland


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St Teilo’s Church, Llantilio Pertholey, Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

St Teilo's Church, Llantilio Pertholey.

St Teilo’s Church, Llantilio Pertholey, Monmouthshire.

Os grid ref: SO 3114 1632. St Teilo’s Church at Llantilio Pertholey about 1 mile north of Abergavenny (Y Fenny), Monmouthshire, stands in a secluded hollow just off the Old Hereford road, in a lovely, peaceful setting within what looks to be a partly circular churchyard. The church is largerly medieval but there are many different periods built into the structure which can be a bit confusing, if not daunting. At the back of the church there is an ancient yew tree that is said to be 1,200 years old, so there ‘may’ have been a place of worship here in the 8th century? And there is a medieval churchyard cross (south-side) which is now a war memorial.

According to ‘The Legend’ an unidentified holy man called Bevan came here with some companions and established a cell. Bevan was a follower of the renowned Welsh churchman, St Teilo (Theliau), who is said, according to legend, to have died at his monastery of Llandeilo-Fawr, Carmarthenshire, in 560 AD. Teilo had earlier been bishop of Llandaff, succeeding St Dubricius (545). The name Pertholey (Bertholey) and Bertholiau is thought to refer to “a defiled gate” or entrance, but other than that the meaning is uncertain. So why was it defiled? Could it refer to “martyrs”? We know that Bevan was buried here, but he seems not to have suffered martyrdom. Fred Hando in his work ‘Hando’s Gwent’ 1987 refers to ‘The Book Of Llandaff’ for information as to the beginnings of this place; he also says: Pertholey is Porth Halauc – a polluted entrance.

The hamlet of Llantilio Pertholey is just north of Mardy on the Old Hereford road, while Abergavenny is 1 mile south, and the more recent A465 road to Hereford is just a little east of the church. At the edge of the churchyard the river Gavenny makes its way toward the town, and then to Llanfoist. St Teilo’s stands in the shadow of Skirrid Fawr, holy mountain to the local people. A couple of legends, or myths, are associated with the Skirrid – probably in connection with the part of the hill that has slipped away due to an earthquake at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, or it was caused when the giant, Jack o’ Kent tried to jump from the Sugar Loaf to the Skirrid – but missed his footing. There are also remains of an ancient Roman Catholic chapel of St Michael on the top of the hill, now just a few stones in a little grassy hollow.

Another View Of St Teilo's Church, Llantilio Pertholey.

Another View Of St Teilo’s Church, Llantilio Pertholey.

In the 15th century porch there is an ancient holy water stoup (sadly it is broken) and a wooden alms-box (1704). The interior is spacious but everywhere seems to be ‘put to good use.’ Probably the oldest part of the church is the north tower with its 14th century entrance to the stairway, though there may be some earlier, 13th century masonry in the nave, according to Mike Salter in his work ‘The Old Parish Churches Of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower’ 1991. The east and south arches are of 1350-1400. It is worth pointing out that some of the arches are ‘all out of true’, seem to lean inwards and are irregular, while the two chantry chapels (north and east) date from the 15th and 16th centuries respectively, the 15th century north chapel (Triley Chapel) has a depressed arch, a timber two-bay arcade, a crude stone altar with consecration crosses was originally a stile, a recess in the wall that may have once housed a tomb and some medieval tiles in the floor [church leaflet]. The south chantry chapel (Wernddu Chapel) was added in the 16th century. In the nave the west window dates from 1729. The east chapel (Neville Chapel) is particularly nice as it has graceful oak arches supported by stout oak columns carved with flowers and cable pattern, according to the historian Fred Hando ‘Hando’s Gwent’ 1987.

The octagonal font has a full size bowl and its lid is recent; the angles at the base of the font have carved fleur de lys, according to the church leaflet. I think the most interesting part of this church is the “squint” or hagioscope which afforded a good view of the altar. Canon E.T. Davies in his book ‘A Guide To The Churches of Gwent’ 1977, says that: “It is around the chancel arch that the visitor should looks for squints or hagioscopes, especially at the end of a north or south aisle. These apertures enable those sitting or, more probably standing, in the aisles, a view of the high altar; they are not leper squints.” The piscina in the wall to the right retains some of its original colouring [church leaflet]. So, all in all a very nice interior.

Cross/war memorial in St Teilo's churchyard.

Cross/war memorial in St Teilo’s churchyard.

Outside in the churchyard (south side) stands a beautiful war memorial on a very large chamfered base – the monument is modern but the base is medieval. The churchyard cross used to stand on the base but was destroyed in the 1640s. Close-by, to the west an ancient yew tree that is hundreds of years old and could, therefore, date back to the Dark Ages (the 6th century) when Iddon, son of King Ynyr, gave this piece of land to Llandaff and St Teilo on which to build a church. Above the porch there is a nice shield-shaped sundial. Over on the south-side of the Skirrid (Ross Road) stands the church of St David at Llanddewi Skirrid, while a few miles over to the north-west is the gorgeous little church of Bettws -these two buildings are cared for, and ministered by, the incumbant of St Teilo’s.

Sources:

Salter, Mike., The Old Parish Churches Of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991.

Davies, E. T. Canon., A Guide To The Ancient Churches Of Gwent, The Griffin Press, Pontypool, Gwent, 1977.

Hando, Fred., Hando’s Gwent, Blorenge Books, Abergavenny, Gwent, 1987.

The church leaflet (a very useful little guide).

Barber, Chris., Mysterious Wales, Paladin (Grafton Books), London W1X, 1987.


Hope Churchyard Cross, Derbyshire

Churchyard Cross, Hope, Derbyshire (Photo credit: Geograph)

Churchyard Cross, Hope, Derbyshire (Photo credit: Geograph)

Os grid reference: SK1721 8347. At the south-east side of the Derbyshire village of Hope stands the 14th century church of St Peter and the Hope Churchyard Cross, a late 9th century Saxon cross-shaft. There is also a medieval cross in the churchyard. The church is located on Station road at the east side of the village close by Pinder Road and, just a short distance to the east the river Noe flows into Peakshole Water. And 1 mile further east in The Hope Valley at Brough the scant earthworks of a Roman fort can be seen. The village of Castleton is 2 miles west on the A6187, Bamford is 3 miles to the north-east, and Buxton is 6 miles to the south-west on the A6 road.

This 6 foot 6 inch sandstone cross-slab stands at the south-side of the church and is now set into a more modern square base. Said to date from the time of King Alfred, it was found in two pieces after being hidden-away in the wall of a nearby school-house until 1858, having lain there for safety since the Civil War. It is richly carved albeit a little weather-worn. All four sides have carvings in seperate panels, the best side being the east which has three panels; at the top there is knotwork, while in the middle two figures are holding up a large staff (or a cross), the lower panel having two interlaced rings surrounded by foliage. The west face is also exellent. Again there are three panels, the top shows a figure holding the cross above his shoulders, the central segmental-headed panel has two saints embracing, while the bottom one has three double concentric rings with double cords crossing ‘diagonally’ and interlinking over the rings. The north face has just two panels with snakes biting each other (top) and the bottom having four-cord plait design with interlacing; there is interlacing composed of figure of eight knots on the south face. Sadly the cross-head is long gone. Close to this is The Eccles Cross, dating from the Middle Ages.

Near the north door there is a medieval calvary on five octagonal steps with a pillar sundial on top of an eight-sided base. This base has a square-shaped hole which could have accommodated an earlier, Saxon cross, although the whole thing is more akin to a market or wayside cross? Inside the church there are two nicely carved medieval grave-slabs (in the chancel) with crosses and various symbols of outdoor life, namely hunting horns and arrows suggesting that these belonged to two officials of the Royal Forest of the Peak. These grave-slabs were made in the 13th century and came from the building prior to the present church. On the north wall there are a number of “ugly” gargoyles, reflecting our pagan past, two of which may be the horned god of the Celts, Cernunos. According to the author David Clarke in his book ‘Ghosts & Legends of the Peak District, 1991, St Peters “is the oldest recorded Christian place of worship in the northern Peak District, and in Saxon times it was the focus of one of the largest parishes in England, stretching from the Derwent woodlands in the north to Buxton, Tideswell and the Padley gorge.”

About a mile to the east at Brough, near Bradwell, in the Hope Valley are the earthworks of the Roman fort of ANAVIO. But there is little to see now apart from some low, grassy banks. Two Roman roads ran from the fort, one going to Buxton, the other to Melandra Castle near Glossop and Templeborough, near Rotherham.

Sources:

Geograph:  http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2368735

Photo:  © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Sharpe, Neville. T., Crosses Of The Peak District, Landmark Publishing Limited, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, 2002.

Clarke, David., Ghosts & Legends of the Peak District, Jarrold Publishing, Norwich, 1991.

Bunting, Richard., Anglo-Saxon and Viking Derbyshire, J. H. Hall & Sons Limited, Derby, 1993.

 


Stydd Chapel, Ribchester, Lancashire

St Saviour's Chapel at Stydd, Ribchester.

St Saviour’s Chapel at Stydd, Ribchester.

OS grid reference: SD 6538 3597. About ½ a mile to the east of Ribchester village, just after the Ribchester Arms Inn, turn off the B6245 (Blackburn road) and head up Stydd Lane (past the 18th century Stydd Almshouses) which eventually becomes a dirt track, and where soon you reach the isolated and ancient little Stydd Chapel, a simple rectangular-shaped building looking a bit like a barn, dating back to the mid 12th century and dedicated to St Saviour. And how pleasant the building is, surrounded on one side by a tiny grassy enclosure which was in use as a graveyard until 1879; and some old and new farm buildings scattered around it at the back. There are a number of interesting architectural features in the building and, equally some interesting old grave-slabs. The river Ribble runs close by and Dutton is bit further along the Blackburn road, while Longridge is 2 miles to the north-west and Whalley is 4 miles due east on the A59 road via Copster Green and Billington.

In her book Lancashire Countrygoer, 1964, authoress Jessica Lofthouse says of Stydd Chapel: “Six centuries ago the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem owned an estate at The Stede, a small “monastery” complete with chapel, dormitory, refectory and cloisters. They were crusading monks, rarely at home until the last fighting men had returned from the Holy Places. In 1338 — when it was considered it no longer served any useful purpose — it was dissolved.” The earliest documented evidence is probably the deeds (undated) of the mid 12th century, then later in 1292 another, clearer more acceptable document saying that “the Knights Hospitallers of St John aquired the land from one Adam of St Saviour at Dutton”. Author Ron Freethy in his book Exploring Villages, 1985, refers to St Saviours as a “Crusader church” and goes on to say that these Hospitallers whom took a major part in the crusades over in the Holy Land also brought back ‘healing’ herbal plants and says: “for the Knights of St John were not only good fighters but skilful healers and herbalists. Many of the plants they cultivated still grow well near Styd, and a careful look around the church yard will reveal plants such as toothwort, used to cure toothache, and willow trees from which they stripped the bark to cure headache”.

It was either in 1136 or 1150 when the Knights Hospitallers arrived at Ribchester to establish their chapel and monastic hospice for pilgrims, though it seems there had already been some kind of religious building on the site at the back where Stydd Manor farm now stands, perhaps an early Christian church or, more likely a Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras, because Archaeological excavations here in 1912 came upon another building that ‘appeared’ to pre-date the present chapel, and could well be of a 4th century date, according to local authors John & Phillip Dixon in their book Journeys Through Brigantia (Volume 9) The Ribble Valley, 1993. A stone dedicated to Mithras was discovered inside the Roman fort at Ribchester – being used as a floor tile in a Romano-British building there. Stydd Manor farm still has some stones from the hospice or monastic farm incorporated into it’s walls.

The Early English porch (south door) was added to the chapel in the 13th century and has an oak door studded with nails and covered in old graffiti, while inside the building is rather “primitive” or bare to say the least with it’s stone-flagged floor, but there are also some interesting antiquities to be seen, despite that. Inside, the south door is quite beautiful with some exceptional carvings including concave keel mouldings and capitals with Corinthian floriated designs, dating from around 1200. But best of all are the north doorway and windows. On the exterior of the late Norman north doorway (now blocked up) there is what is called dog-toothed zig-zag carving (from between 1160-1190) and two round-headed windows. The octagonal font is made of gritstone and dates from the early 1500s and is interesting because it has carvings of sheilds and sacred heraldic symbols on all it’s sides, while the oak screen is of the late 17th century; and the piscina or water stoup built into the south wall of the chancel is medieval – maybe even late Norman, and has a trefoil stone head but it’s water bowl has gone. High up in the west wall there is another blocked-up doorway – this probably once lead to a wooden gallery and linked-up with another building, now long gone.

Gravestone of St Margaret Clitheroe at Stydd Chapel.

Gravestone of St Margaret Clitheroe at Stydd Chapel.

In the sanctuary at the back of the chapel we have some large recumbant grave-slabs. The one that is badly broken at the bottom with the plain incised cross is “said” to be that of the Roman Catholic martyr St Margaret Clitheroe (1556-86) who suffered for her faith at York and was canonised as one of the English Martyrs in 1970. She could, perhaps, have been related to the Clitheroe family who lived in these parts during the 14th century, though we don’t know this with any “real” certainty, but why would the gravestone of a Yorkshire martyr be here at Stydd? At the side of this stands a coffin tomb of unknown date. The other interesting gravestone which is now broken across the middle has a lovely floriated design. Buried here beneath this stone are the Knight Sir Adam de Cliderow and his wife Lady Alice Cliderow (1350). Outside in the old graveyard there is a medieval cross-base – it’s stump having disappeared. This is said to have come from Duddel Hill on the moors a few miles to the north of Stydd. Church services are still held ‘occassionaly’ at the Stydd Chapel and visitors, rather than pilgrims, come here now to look at the building.

Sources:

Lofthouse, Jessica., Lancashire Countrygoer, Robert Hale Limited, London, 1964.

Dixon, John & Phillip., Journeys Through Brigantia (Volume Nine) The Ribble Valley, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1993.

Freethy, Ron., Exploring Villages with Ron Freethy, Countryside Publications, Brinscall, Chorley, Lancashire, 1985.

Church Guide (Booklet), The Church of St. Saviour, Stydd. 2004. (In conjunction with St Wilfrid’s Church, Ribchester).


Church of St Mael and St Sulien, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales

Cross-Shaft in Corwen churchyard (Jeff Buck - Geograph)

Cross-Shaft in Corwen churchyard (Jeff Buck – Geograph)

OS grid reference SJ 0788 4341. Near the centre of the little town of Corwen, in the Dee Valley, beside Chapel street and London road (A5) – stands the parish church of St Mael and St Sulien, a building that dates back to the 12th-15th centuries, although there was an earlier, Norman church on this site as far back as the 12th century and, probably even further back to the 6th century AD. The church houses a small collection of antiquities that are well worth viewing. In the porch there is a strange-shaped stone in the wall that could pre-date the church, and above the priest’s door a flat stone bearing an incised cross; also an ancient font and medieval tomb. Out in the churchyard a Celtic cross-shaft stands upon a pre-historic stone base that has what are ‘considered to be’ cup-markings. The town of Llangollen is 11 miles to the east on the A5, while the historic town of Ruthin lies some 10 miles to the north along the winding A494 road.

The first church, whether that be in the 6th century or the 11th century, according to legend, it was built where a large and ancient pointed stone stood – as it could not be built eleswhere because a “voice” from a higher place (not of this world) had warned against it. At some stage this large pointed stone 6 feet in length was incorporated into the wall of the north porch, but it is difficult to see it today as the porch has been plastered over. Local people called it the ‘Thumb Stone’ or ‘Pointed Stone’. It could well pre-date the church and be pre-historic in date. It is also known in Welsh as ‘Carreg y big yn y fach rhewllyd’ or “the pointed stone in the icy corner.” On the outer south wall of the church, above the priest’s door, a large flat stone lintel has an incised Celtic-style consecration cross carved onto it, possibly dating from the early Christian period. Local people believed that this mark was actually the impression made by Owain Glyndwr’s dagger when he hurled it at the church in a fit of rage from Pen-y-Pigyn hill overlooking the town; and ever since it has been referred to as ‘Glyndwr’s Dagger Stone’. Glyndwr (1349-c.1445) led the Welsh in a revolt against King Henry IV. A few others have suggested the dagger or spear was thrown by Owain, King of Gwynedd, from Caer Drewyn in the 12th century? Also in the church a Norman font of circa 1100, a dug-out wooden chest and a beautifully carved 14th century memorial tomb to Iorweth Sulien, a prevoius rector of the church.

In the round-shaped churchyard near the porch stands a slender Celtic preaching cross-shaft, dating from between the 9th to 12th centuries, which sadly, has a broken head. It is made of granite and is 7 foot (2.2) metres high. There is interlacing on the broken cross-head (capital) and some other decoration on the shaft, including a small incised Latin cross. The cross stands on a large, circular (octagonal) base-stone that is 5 foot 3 inches in diameter and 1 foot in depth; this stone is ‘thought’ to date back to the Bronze-Age and has what are considered to be 7 depressions or cup-marks (is this the only cup-marked stone in Wales), quite possibly, and could it have come from a pre-historic burial site that once stood in the churchyard or close by? where there was originally an alignment of stones.

The dedicatees of the church St Mael and St Sulien were, according to the Legend, Christian missionaries who came to Wales from Brittany in 516 AD along with St Cadfan, St Padarn, St Cynllo and St Tydecho. However, it is quite plausable St Mael never existed at all because Corwen church now adopts St Michael the Archangel as it’s second patron, in a way dropping St Mael, although the name is very similar. But St Sulien is remembered in north Wales – indeed he was the cousin of St David. Sulien or Silian went on to establish a number of churches in northern Wales, including Llansilin and Llandyssil in Powys and Capel-St-Silin in Cardiganshire, but over time he has become confused with another saint called Tysilio. In later life we are told: Sulien settled at Luxulyan in Cornwall but returned to Brittany and died there. He has a feastday on the 13th May. At Tyn Llan near Llansilin, Powys, there is a holy well named for him (Ffynnon Silin) and there is a St Sulien’s holy well (Ffynnon Sulien) near Rug Chapel – west of Corwen on the A494 road.

Sources:

Barber, Chris., More Mysterious Wales, Paladin (Grafton Books), London, 1987.

Gregory, Donald., Country Churchyards In Wales, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Capel Garmon, Llanrwst, Gwynedd, 1991.

Jones, Francis., The Holy Wells Of Wales., University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1992.

Spencer, Ray., Historic Places In Wales – An Exploration of the Fascinating and Mysterious (unpublished manuscript), Nelson, Lancashire, 1991.

Spencer, Ray., A Guide to the Saints Of Wales and the West Country, Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach, Lampeter, Dyfed, 1991.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4615549

http://www.cpat.demon.co.uk/projects/longer/churches/denbigh/72143.htm

http://wellhopper.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/ffynnon-sulien-corwen/


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Kilpeck Church, Herefordshire

SO4449 3051. The little Herefordshire village of Kilpeck is 2 miles east of the A465 Hereford to Abergavenny road at Wormbridge and 7 miles south-west of Hereford. It is noted for its outstandingly beautiful 12th century Norman church with many carvings that are greatly influenced by the Celtic, Norse and also medieval (Romanesque) periods in history. It is now dedicated to St Mary and St David, its original dedication was to St Pedic or Pedoric, hence the name Kilpeck. This 6th century Celtic saint, a follower of St David or St Dubricius (Dyfrig), had a cell here and later a Saxon church sprang from that in the 7th or 8th century. At the back of the church there is a round-shaped churchyard indicating that this was a sacred site before the coming of the Celtic, Christian church.

In 1140-1150 the building that we see now was built over the Saxon building  – although as is always the case some restoration has taken place in more recent times. By 1143 the church of Kilpeck was placed under the care of the Benedictine abbey of Gloucester giving it a monastic status; the monks came and built a small cell here soon afterwards. All the carvings that we see here are from the late 12th century and were probably all done by the Hereford school of stonemasons. The church survived being abandoned in the 14th century, the Reformation of the 16th century and the puritans of the 17th century, in fact, the place looks as if it has only just been built, especially as it is always kept well whitewashed and in a most excellent state of repair.

English: Kilpeck church The church is dedicate...

Kilpeck church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kilpeck church is renowned for its very beautifully carved Norman south door, carved chancel-arch, nave and vaulted apse. Part of the nave (NE corner) may date from the 11th century. The font is Norman but the holy water stoup could be pre-Conquest; this is carved with animal heads and a pair of hands holding two heads. But it is the many carvings on the outside of the church that do it justice for there are so many to see. The exterior of the south door has double columns and a richly carved tympanum over the top. A vast array of carvings can be seen on the doorway including snakes, human heads, foliage, birds, dragons, warriors, medallions and a green man. The tympanum shows what is almost certainly the Tree of Life.

On the exterior walls running along the corbel table below the roof there are many strange, comical and often quite ugly carvings. These include two men fighting, a dog and rabbit, the lamb of God and cross of Jesus, a vulgar sheela-na-gig displaying genitalia, two dragons fighting, green men, a warrior entwined, human heads, a cat and dog and, a pig. But there are others too. A walk around the church is well worth it. Close to the church are the earthworks of a 11th-13th century Norman motte and bailey castle.

Kilpeck Church (South Door)

Kilpeck Church, sheela-na-gig


St Trillo’s Chapel, Rhos-On-Sea, Caernarvonshire (Gwynedd)

SH8413 8113. The tiny medieval chapel-cum-baptistry of St Trillo stands just off Marine Drive, close to the promenade, at Rhos-On-Sea, some 2 miles north-west of Colwyn Bay. Also called Capel St Trillo, the tiny building stands in a quiet area beside the seashore in what has been a hallowed spot for many hundreds of years. Within the chapel is a holy well (Ffynnon Drillo) which has been a place where pilgrims have come in the hope of a miraculous cure. An earlier Celtic chapel or a hermit’s cell stood here previous to the present structure, a cell where the 6th century saint, Trillo, had once lived.

St Trillo’s Chapel, Caernarvonshire

St Trillo’s chapel is a tiny, plain stone-built roofed building measuring 11 feet by 8 feet inside with walls that are 2 foot thick and low vaulting inside. The building is so tiny that only a small number of people are allowed in at any one time, the door is also quite narrow and there is only one tiny stained-glass window which shows St Elian another local Celtic saint. But it is open every day for prayer. The holy well is located beneath the altar but it is often covered by a metal grid – though this can be removed for access to the water inside a square-shaped basin. Even today the water from the well is used for baptisms. The monks of Aberconwy abbey looked after the chapel and holy well from roughly 1283 until the dissolution in 1538 at which time the monks had relocated to Maenan in the Conwy Valley, near Llanwrst.

What we know about St Trillo is that in the 6th century AD he came to Wales from Brittany and worked as a missionary along the north Wales coast as far as Anglesey where there is another church dedicated to him at Llandrygarn. He was the son of King Ithael Hael and his brothers were called Tegai and Twrog – both saints in their own right. St Trillo lived at his humble little cell at Rhos-On-Sea between the years 570-590 AD. He was buried on the holy island of Bardsey.


St Beuno’s Church, Culbone, Somerset

SS8320 4735. Hidden away in a wooded valley or combe along the winding South-West Coast Path 2 miles west of Porlock is the smallest parish church in England, if not in Britain, at the secluded, tiny hamlet of Culbone (Kil Beun or Kil Benn). It’s lovely little church is dedicated to the 7th century Welsh saint, Beuno. The church can only seat about 30 people at any one time, and even that’s a tight squeeze! The original name was Kitnor – meaning ‘hillslope frequented by kites’.

Culbone Church The smallest complete medieval ...

Culbone Church The smallest complete medieval English church in frequent use (10.7m x 3.7m). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The chancel measures 13 feet by 10 feet and the 15th century re-roofed nave 21 feet by 12 feet – a total length of 35 feet altogether. Its walls are 2 foot thick. St Beuno’s church site dates back from before the Norman conquest though the present building is 12th century. There is a nice 13th century porch and a very fine Saxon two-light window, cut from a single block of stone, with a carved face of a leopard set in low relief. The font is probably 11th century but its pedestal is Victorian. In the north wall there is a lepers’ squint hole. Outside in the churchyard stands a preaching cross with a 15th century base. Despite being hidden away the church at Culbone is still a place of pilgrimage for many visitors – they are seemingly not deterred by the 2 mile trek.

On Culbone Hill 2 miles to the south-west (on private land) stands the 1 metre high ‘Culbone Stone’ once part of a stone row that stood close by. Carved on the stone is an incised wheel-cross that dates from the 7th-9th century AD, the stone itself being of pre-historic origins. St Beuno probably preached at this stone when he lived for a while in the valley before starting his missionary work in mid and north Wales, or could the church here at Culbone be dedicated to a St Coulban of Brittany?