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ST JUSTINIAN'S CHAPEL, PORTHSTINIAN

Site Details



NPRN 94100

Map Reference SM72NW

Grid Reference SM72362525

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community St Davids and the Cathedral Close

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description To the west of St Davids, overlooking Ramsey Sound and the St Davids Lifeboat Station, are the substantial remains of St Justinian's Chapel. Like the smaller St Non's Chapel (NPRN 301109), this was a place of pilgrimage for medieval travellers to St Davids and gathered donations which were passed to the cathedral. Like its smaller cousin, the present stone building may obscure an earlier structure many centuries older, possibly dating to the early Christian period. Si├ón Rees notes that the dedication to St Stinan, a little known Celtic saint, may indicate a pre-Norman establishment.

The remaining structure is largely sixteenth century and the building is now roofless but otherwise substantially intact. The rubble stone walls form a rectangular plan measuring 12m x 5m and there are three windows in each side, two doors in the north wall, and segment headed arcading. Traces of a piscina and an aumbry recess are visible in the chancel. Excavation revealed the remains of an earlier building, possibly twelfth century, Excavation revealed the remains of an earlier building, possibly twelfth century, and an undated cist burial. Earthwork banks, identified in 2002, may possibly represent the remains of two concentric enclosures surrounding the chapel site (the smaller measuring some 12m in diameter). St Justinian's Well (NPRN 32504) lies some 40m to the south-east. The chapel now lies within a private, lawned garden.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 28 June 2007.

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