St Patrick memorial stone, Banwen

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St Patrick memorial stone, Banwen

The memorial stone beside Roman Road marks the area where, according to local tradition, St Patrick was born. He is the patron saint of Ireland.

He was born towards the end of Roman rule in Britain. His birthplace was recorded as Bannavem Taburniae. Nobody knows where that was, but historians have long suggested it was Banwen. In 1914 it was reported that Irish historian Prof John Bagnell Bury, of Cambridge University, had accepted the claim by Celtic expert Sir John Rhys that Banwen was the saint’s birthplace.

Irish raiders seized Patrick when he was 16 years old and took him to Ireland as a slave. While looking after livestock, his love of God developed. After six years of slavery, he heard a voice urging him to escape, and he returned to his family. He went back to Ireland, this time by choice, after hearing the “voice of the Irish” calling to him in a dream. He was an energetic missionary there, risking his life to spread the Gospel in a country where there were few Christians. He was held captive at least once.

One of the miracles ascribed to him is that he banished all snakes from Ireland. Legend has it that he used the three leaves of the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to people who knew little or nothing about Christianity. The shamrock became Ireland’s national flower.

He died on 17 March 461AD. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on 17 March in Ireland and in many other countries. Banwen holds community events to celebrate St Patrick’s Day each year.

Postcode: SA10 9LG    View Location Map