Trust Regional Historic Environment Record
St. Seiriol's Holy Well and Cell, Penmon Priory
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 2540 Trust : Gwynedd Community : Llangoed Unitary authority : Ynys Mon NGR : SH6305780797 Site Type (preferred type first) : Early Medieval HOLY WELL Status : Scheduled Monument , Listed Building I, Cared for by the State
Summary : Roughly 72 metres north-east of Penmon priory is St Seiriol's Holy Well. The well is actually a spring emerging from the cliff behind the priory church of St Seiriol, which provided water for the monastery, although it has since been modified.
The well is enclosed by a small rectangular building built against the rock face, the upper sections of which date to the 18th century. It has benches around three of the sides, and also has an open antechamber which has a bench on either side, and may be earlier in date. It has been suggested that these structures represent the chancel and nave of St Seiriol's chapel, while the remains of an oval structure nearby are thought to represent his dwelling. However, neither the date or purpose of this so-called 'cell' have ever been established. It is considered by some to be of unsuitable shape to be regarded as a 6th century hermitage, and there is no certain connection to St. Seiriol.
Description : Holy well and remains of cell 80yds N-NE of St. Seiriol's church. (RCAHMW, 1937)
It is probable that this marked the settlement of St. Seiriol, (C6th) the founder of the religious community at Penmon. The double structure now enclosing the well representing chancel and nave of his chapel, and the adjoining oval hut his dwelling. The well is enclosed by a small rectangular structure, 7ft by 6ft, with an open forecourt 9ft square, from which it is entered. The structure is built against a vertical rock face which forms one side; the lower parts of the walls, showing a batter on the E side, are older than the upper portions and the roof, which date probably from the C18th and are partly of brick (see plan). Internally, a stone bench runs around three sides, and in the N and E walls are recesses, one of which is partly blocked by a slate slab with a coronet above the initials and date 'R B B 1710'. The floor is paved. The forecourt (9ft square) is surrounded by a low stone wall along the inner face of which is a stone bench.
Adjoining the courtyard in the SW and filling the space between it and the rock face is a recessed platform about 4ft 6in above courtyard level. Set in this are the stone foundations of an oval building 12ft 6in by 10ft 9in with a S entrance.
Condition good, cell overgrown. <2>
6th century possibly foundation of monks cell, ancient well with rectangular stone basin. 18th century brick superstructure. Ancient monument. (RCAHMW, Undated)
Old HER records part excavation by C. Smith (Inspector of Ancient Monuments) in 1984. No further information or sources given. <9>