St Davids

Pembrokeshire: Land of Legends

St Davids, the smallest city in Britain, and birthplace of the patron saint of Wales, has the perfect mix of history, culture, coast and countryside.​

​The Birth of St David

Amid a raging storm, Wales’ patron saint was born.

Almost 2,000 years ago, a young man called Sant was visited by a spirit. This spirit told him that for 30 years he should keep a piece of land in readiness for a son who would be born to him.

Sant obeyed what the spirit told him, and he kept hold of the land despite many temptations to sell it. The same spirit also made a visit to St Patrick at about the same time and advised him not to settle in the land of Pembrokeshire as it was reserved for a special boy who would be born 30 years later.

Although he was put out by this advice, Patrick did what the spirit had told him and returned to Ireland where he’d been born.

A few years later, Sant fell in love with a woman called Non.

The ruin of the Chapel of Saint Non, St Davids

Some months after he’d seduced her, in the midst of a ferocious storm, with rain lashing, thunder roaring and lightning crashing, Non went in to labour. In a stone circle on the cliff tops, at the place now known as St Non’s, she gave birth to a little boy.

All around her the storm raged, but within the circle, all was calm and the sun shone on Non and her baby. Non named her baby Dewi. A spring of pure, clear water sprang up to mark the place of his birth. This little boy, Dewi, grew up to become St David, the patron saint of Wales.

If you are in the St Davids area, look out for the stone circle sculpture outside Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre. It represents the stone circle in which Non gave birth.

You can also walk to St Non’s and see the ruins of the ancient St Non’s chapel as well as the holy well and the newer chapel dedicated to Non.