Thursday, November 30, 2023

30th November 2023 - Celtic Saint D

Well continuing the alphabet of the Celtic saints with the letter 'D', there are plenty to choose from amongst the Welsh saints but then of course I had forgotten Saint Dewi or Saint David Patron saint of Wales.  Dates of birth are given variously, starting from 460 to 520 and then death between 544 and 589.

But first I would like to write something else.  My viewing figures have just shot up in the last few days.  Well I like to live a quiet life on my blog, pottering around with anything that takes my mind.  I think the reason for the over the top figures is dear Weaver, who wrote a comment.  Can I just say that Weaver and myself have known each other through our blogs for at least as far back as 2011.  I admire Pat and am shocked and saddened by her latest news as everyone is, but I know she has a stamina which I envy and will come through strong. My feelings on the subject is that we all just carry on as usual.

So back to St. David, or maybe his headland which I have wandered over so often, tracing life back to the far reaches of prehistory.  His name is dedicated to many, many churches, even the famous Kilpeck one, though twinned with St. Mary.

He was canonised by the then Pope in the 12th Century, probably because he fought against the Pelagasian Heresy (it was rather a good heresy) and ensured that the Roman Catholic branch took power over Christianity.  Till of course King Henry V111 decided otherwise in this country.

St. David was a vegetarian, I suppose veganism was still to come into being, and David was known traditionally, as The Waterman as he and his monks were ascetic teetotallers and vegetarians.  Hmm, patron saint of vegetarians!

The more you read of these saints the more you understand the weird.  In this I mean the old customs and saint days - the hobby horses and dressing up or being a 'mummer'.

For instance, on the 12th March (old St.David's Day) in the Gwaun Valley in Pembrokeshire, the wax candlestick on the table would be replaced by a wooden one, signifying that supper could be eaten without candlelight.  And one should not forget the leek, an emblem of Wales.  For it is said that he told the Welsh soldiers to put leeks in their hats so that they would be recognisable on the battle field.

Breverton writes an amusing paragraph on the medical use of the leeks in the middle ages.  I won't go there, but if you want children, eat your leeks!

St David The town, is probably one of the smallest towns with a cathedral.  It lies in its hollow next to the ruins of Bishop's Palace.  The roof was apparently robbed by an English bishop in the dates of 1536-1538, the time when the monasteries and abbeys were brought down in the Dissolution.  He wanted the money to pay for his daughter's wedding!

St. David's Cathedral with the Bishop's Palace in the background
Ruins of Bishops Palace

St. David's Head - Warriors Dyke


  1. Very sad to hear news of Pat. I knew a couple of weeks ago that she was having investigation work - had hoped it was nothing.

    I wish I had visited St David's on one of our frequent Welsh holidays but we never did.

    1. I suppose Sue my love affair with Wales started as a child. When we were sent to a farm in the school holidays. But its stories through the old books are very interesting and then later spending time on walking the Pembrokeshire area.

  2. Alerted by this post of yours, I have only just read Pat's latest news in her comment. I don't know how many saints there are/were in Britain, but I do know there are more than enough to keep you going for quite some time!

  3. Well saints keep me away from politics Tom and the terrible things that are happening in the world. Don't do Catholic saints by the way, so that reduces it. Pat has braved the world and gone public and we must all be there to support her.

  4. I love our blog community. Yes. We will support our Pat.

  5. Thank you for visiting the bike shed again after my hiatus. How funny to see pictures of home here!

  6. Do not keep up with bloggers as much as I should. Your photos, though, help me travel virtually to some really nostalgic places.


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