Wednesday, 10 December 2014

ELEGUG STACKS AND ST GOVAN'S CHAPEL



The Elegug Stacks, which lie south-east of Freshwater West, are two enormous limestone pillars rising up from the sea beside the cliffs.  Guillemots flock here in summer to breed, making use of the ledges on the stacks, which they share with other birds such as razorbills, fulmars and auks.  Nearby, to the west, is a natural rock arch known as the Green Bridge of Wales.  There are spectacular walks along the coast to the east, but would-be walkers need to check whether the Castlemartin MOD live firing range, marked by the words 'DANGER AREA' on the Ordnance Survey map, is in use or not before setting off.

St Govan's Chapel is a highly unusual, tiny chapel built into the rocks below the clifftops of this lonely stretch of the Pembrokeshire coast.  There is a car park catering for visitors to the chapel, which is reached by means of a steep flight of steps, making it challenging for the less mobile.  As long as you access the chapel from the car park you will be safe from the Castlemartin live firing activities.  If you feel up to the descent (and subsequent ascent!) of the steps you will be rewarded by the sight of a charming, spiritual relic of the 11th century which, as well as its simple architecture, offers lovely coastal views.  Near the chapel is a rock called Bell Rock, so called because legend has it that pirates stole the chapel's bell, but it was saved by angels who set it in the rock, making the rock reverberate like a bell when struck.

Map of the area.

Link to Castlemartin firing times

File:St Govans' chapel - geograph.org.uk - 876068.jpg
Photo by Anthony Gostling, via Wikimedia Commons

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