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Saint Tewdrig Martyr

Reposed 480 Remembered April 1

In Wales little is known of specific battles with the Anglo-Saxons on the borders of British territory. The veil is drawn back a little in the life of St Tewdrig, a post-Roman King of Brecon. He gave up his Kingdom in order to become a hermit at Tintern. However about 480 he was recalled to take up armour again when the territory of his tribe was threatened with invasion. Though victorious in battle he was severely wounded. He hoped to be taken to the island of Flatholm to die, but expired at Mathern on an inlet in the Severn in Monmouthshire in south west Wales. He was buried at Merthyr Tewdrig, meaning the ‘burial place of Tewdrig’, otherwise known as Mathern, meaning ‘place of a king’. Any king who lost his life in battle against pagan forces was deemed a martyr for the faith. There is a well by the road to the church where his wounds were washed.

In 1616 a stone coffin was found by the altar in the church at Mathern with a badly damaged skull. A plaque in the church gives an account of the finding and reburial.

Holy Well:Mathern

["Saint", "Wales", "Wa0020", "Cent05", "Martyr", "Hermit", "Royal", "Grave", "Well", "Relics"]