Nevern is a small village or hamlet of just a few houses. It lies in the valley of the River Nevern close to the Preseli Hills of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park east of Newport.
Now a quiet and picturesque village, Nevern was an important administrative centre in medieval times. It has a wealth of historic monuments, including the remains of a motte and bailey castle above the village and an ancient bridge.
The site of Nevern Castle is on the north side of the village alongside the back road to Moylegrove. It was originally a Welsh stronghold, and more than likely a hill fort before that. It was seized in the early 12th century by the Norman Robert Fitzmartin, Lord of Cemmaes, who built a motte and a large bailey defended by a set of double earthen ramparts. The earthen banks and the mound of the Motte can be seen in the woods today.
The Norman church of St Brynach is on the site of St Brynach’s 6th century “clas”, an important ecclesiastical centre. At the time when it is said that Dyfed had seven bishops, this was probably the seat of one. Except for the castellated tower, perilously undercut by the adjacent River Gamman, most of the original Norman structure of the present building has been rebuilt. The church and churchyard are remarkable for the Celtic cross and several inscribed stones.
The Nevern Cross on the south side of the church dates from the 10th century or early 11th century. It has a number of important features including the Vitalianus Stone inscribed in Latin and a stone carved with the Irish Ogham script.
There’s a 13ft high Celtic cross and a miraculous bleeding yew. An avenue of 700 year old yew trees leads you through the churchyard. One of them is the famous bleeding yew tree for which various legends exist; some say it bleeds for the wrongful hanging of a young man many years ago, others say it will bleed until there is a Welsh prince on the seat at Nevern Castle and another legend says it will bleed until the world is at peace.
Just over 3 miles east from Nevern is Castell Henllys, a reconstructed Iron Age hill fort, complete with roundhouses and other buildings, built in exactly the same place as the Iron Age buildings as identified by archaeological excavations. Re-enactments throughout the summer bring the settlement to life.
And two miles south is Pentre Ifan, an exposed Neolithic burial mound on the hillside high above the village. The setting is magnificent with Carn Ingli and Newport Bay as a backdrop.
Food and drink
Nevern has one pub the Trewern Arms offering a full range of meals and accommodation. A greater range of pubs, cafes and restaurants can be found in neighbouring Newport, 2 miles west.
The nearest hotels to Nevern would be in Cardigan or Fishguard but there is an inn in Nevern with further choice in nearby Newport and Felindre Farchog. B&Bs and guesthouses aren’t plentiful either but there are a few in Newport.
Camp sites and touring caravan sites are available but not in the village itself. There is a holiday park with camping facilities at Llwyngwair Manor on the way to Newport. They have self catering static caravans to rent. There are numerous self catering cottagesthroughout this part of Pembrokeshire including in Nevern itself.