Holy Cross Church, Mwnt, Wales

 

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This little Welsh church was on my wish list, which is now about a mile long, but at least its one less now.  Holy Cross Church is in the most wonderful location, as most of the little churches of Wales seem to be. The Church is at Mwnt in Ceredigion, Wales and is the oldest church in Ceredigion.  On the day we visited, it was rainy and cold, but for the short time that I was exploring the church, the weather at least stopped raining, but goodness it was very cold for September (2016)

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Mind you, the nearer I got to the church, the less cold I felt, excitement had kicked in.  I knew it was open, I had seen someone come out, so I hurried across the grass, just incase it mysteriously locked itself.

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I love these little churches, they are all different, so simple and beautiful.  Although it was quite grey outside, there was a lovely glow of light streaming through the small windows.

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I always look at the photos which seem to be hung haphazard on the walls of all the churches I visit and normally there is some interesting pictures or old photos of the past life of the church.

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A photo from 1912 and below, mine of 2016, not much has changed, apart from the two windows.

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A little history…..Foel y Mwnt (literally bare or bald mount), a conical hill that rises above the beach, gives the place its name.  You can see the hill behind the church.

The Church of the Holy Cross is a medieval sailor’s chapel of ease, probably built in the 14th century, although the site may have been used since the “Age of the Saints”  it was  also a welcome refuge for medieval pilgrims en route to the patron saint of Wales’ shrine at St Davids, mystical Strata Florida Abbey or Bardsey Island in North Wales.

Here in western Britain this period in the 5th and 6th centuries seems to light up the so-called Dark Ages between the Romans leaving (around AD 400) and the Normans arriving (1066).

In 1155 invaders from Flanders unsuccessfully made a raid on Mwnt in a bloody event commemorated today as Mwnt Red Sunday (Sul y Coch y Mwnt).

The building was restored in 1853 and again after storm damage in 1917.

 

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The font could be be 12th century and is made of Presell stone.dsc_0229

 

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The interior of the church has changed a little from 1969, as you can see from the photo below.

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Detail about the rood screen and stairs.

Postcard 1910

11 comments

  1. Lovely pictures! Mwnt is one of the closest beaches to where I live, so I’ve spent many a happy afternoon either messing about on the sand, swimming with seals, or climbing up the hill for the view. It’s a shame you didn’t get better weather on your trip as on a fine day, Mwnt can be very close to heaven on earth.

    1. Thank you Sarah, when we come back in September this year, hopefully the weather will be better and I can get to visit the beach and climb the hill 🙂 You live in a beautiful part of the Wales 🙂

  2. Mwnt was a well visited spot when we lived in West Wales, though I only went in the church once. Another time there were a few sheep in amongst the gravestones, put me in mind of the phrase ‘sheep may safely graze’. Lovely pics, Lynne, glad you got to see this!

    1. Thank you, I want to revisit in September, as I didn’t get to see the beach or climb the hill, mind you it wasn’t the weather for it. I’m so glad there were no sheep on my visit 🙂

      1. Lovely views from the top (awkward footing though on the ridge, be warned!) and a gorgeous beach, even though very popular in summer! No sheep down there, you’ll be glad to know.

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