Saints and Stones: Penmon Priory/St. Seiriol's Well

The monastery at Penmon was originally founded by St Seiriol in the 6th Century and consisted of a wooden church building and two high crosses that probably stood at the entrance to the monastic grounds. It prospered until the Viking raids of the 10th Century. During the 12th Century, the abbey church was rebuilt.

In the 13th Century, the Celtic monasteries were persuaded to adopt a more regular rule, and Penmon eventually became an Augustinian priory and at this time the priory church was enlarged.

An ancient holy well -- St. Seiriol's Well -- survives near the priory and may have its origins to the monastery's earliest period. The well was built by the monks of Penmon and was believed to have healing powers by some people visiting it. It has been surmised that it is probably one of the oldest buildings in Penmon and that the lower stone walls near the well were part of St. Seiriol's church in the 6th Century. If so, this would make it the oldest remaining Christian building in Wales.

The two high crosses that graced the entrance to the early medieval monastery are still in existence and are now housed in the church. The larger cross, which until 1977 stood in its original position in the deer park, is now in the nave. It is badly worn, but you can still just barely see the interlacing decorative patterns and a pictorial scene showing the temptation of St. Anthony, along with a probable hunting scene. The smaller cross is located in the south transept and is much less weathered. This is because it was once used as a lintel for one of the refectory windows; one of the arms of the cross was cut off for this use. The cross is mainly decorated with knotwork along with two animal heads on the sides. A baptismal font elsewhere in the church has similar patterns and may have been the original base of this cross; it now has a modern base.

About Penmon Priory/St. Seiriol's Well

CADW: Penmon Priory Penmon Priory
Anglesey History: Holy Penmon
CADW: Penmon, St. Seiriol's Well St. Seiriol's Well
Wikipedia: Seiriol
Megalithic Portal: Penmon Priory and Ancient Crosses
Megalithic Portal: St Seiriol's Well

Journey to Penmon Priory/St. Seiriol's Well

Penmon Priory and St. Seiriol's Well are located on a minor road from the end of the B5109 at the northeast tip of Anglesey (Ynys Mon) in North Wales.

Steetmap UK (NGR SH630807)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Penmon Priory and St. Seiriol's Well CADW websites. General tourist information for the area may be found on the Visit Anglesey.

Additional Photos of Penmon Priory/St. Seiriol's Well

12th Century Church at Penmon, Site of St. Seiriol's 6th Century Monastery
Sign at Penmon Priory
12th Century Penmon Priory
12th Century Penmon Priory
Interior, 12th Century Penmon Priory
Interior, 12th Century Penmon Priory
12th Century Gravestone Inside Penmon Priory
Two Storey Interior, 12th Century Penmon Priory
Carving Above Back Door to Church at Penmon
Nave, Tower, and South Transept of Church at Penmon
Cross on Church at Penmon
Stovepipe on Church at Penmon
Penmon High Cross Inside Church at Penmon
Second High Cross Inside Church at Penmon
Banner Inside Church at Penmon
Directional Sign for St. Seiriol's Well, Penmon
Sign at St. Seiriol's Well, Penmon
St. Seiriol's Well and Cliffs, Penmon
St. Seiriol's Well, Penmon
Inside St. Seiriol's Well, Penmon
Area Near Well Where According to Legend St. Seiriol's Cell Stood, Penmon

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