Celtic Saints, Spiritual Places and Pilgrimages

St Govan's Chapel

Title: The Legacy of the Celtic Saints
Date: April 2011
Creator: Touchstone Heritage Management Consultants & Associates

The plan explores the story of Christianity in Wales from around 400 AD to 1100 AD, which encompasses The Age of the Saints (5th/6th centuries) and the emergence of strong political as well as religious centre from the 7th century.  It also identifies the impact that this storyline has had upon Wales’ “history, culture and psyche”.

The approach
The plan outlines the history, archaeology and legends associated with the storyline. It states that “interest in the saints, sacred sites and pilgrimage transcends matters of belief. Enjoyment of the tales of saints does not require any profession of faith”.

The whole approach is centred on storytelling. It suggests that a magazine –style approach, potentially illustrated with cartoons (similar to medieval art) should be adopted. People (i.e. the saints themselves and those they came in to contact with) along with the places associated with them, are the key focus for this storyline. It also notes that often these stories are based in legend rather than historically accurate and will need to be interpreted as such to the visitor.

The plan is intended to provide a framework for interpreting this storyline on Wales-wide basis as well as on a local cluster level. Some examples of the cluster approach are included in the document for illustrative purposes. It also reinforces a number of pilgrimage routes that should be interpreted for new audiences, as well as making suggestions for visitor packages related to the storyline.