The Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt - Sarah Woodbury

The Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt


The Church of the Holy Cross, or in Welsh, Eglwys y Grog, is an ancient church at Mwnt, and is an example of a medieval sailor’s “Chapel of Ease”–meaning it was built to allow sailors to attend service without having to walk all the way to Mwnt. It is located at a secluded cove in Ceredigion.

The church was established during the Age of Saints although it is not credited to a specific saint. The name comes from a cross which was built on the heights above the church as a landmark that could be seen a great distance from land or sea, and it was known as a stopping point for pilgrims traveling north to Bardsey Island and south to St. Davids.

In addition, according to legend, a contingent of Flemings–men from Flanders, brought in by the Norman conquerors as mercenaries–landed here in 1155. Their subsequent defeat by the local Welsh inhabitants of the area was marked, at least in the 18th century when the events were recorded, by secular games played on the first Sunday in January, called, “Coch y Mwnt”–the bloody Sunday of Mount. Nearby is a farm with a well called Ffynnon Grog, the well of the cross, and Nant y Flymon, or the Fleming’s brook, where many human bones have been unearthed over the centuries. The implication is that the dead from the battle were buried in the farmer’s field.

The church itself dates to the 13th or 14th centuries, though it was certainly built over the remains of an older construction. The font has been dated to the 13th century, while the rood loft is 15th century.

One Reply to “The Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt”

  1. Well hello,all you people in Wales!! I live in Staten Island,one of the boroughs of New York City. I love The Moody Blues. By happenstance,I was looking at Ray Thomas’s biography. His funeral service was held in this church,The Church of the Holy Cross. I was curious as to what denomination it is: Is it Catholic, Protestant,or Church of England? Ironically,I was in Wales myself 30 years ago to see a spiritual healer named George Chapman. I am a great admirer of your queen,Queen Elizabeth II. I thought with her strong personality,she would make it to age 100!! So sorry for your loss. Finally,I had a great grandfather who came from England. So this rich, famous rock star had his funeral at this unassuming,but beautiful church in a wonderfully picturesque green hillside!! Let me know if you can about the denomination.Thank you. Fred

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