The Seintiadur

Winefride, LlandyrnogSaints populate the landscape of Wales in place-names, church dedications and holy wells. From St Fagans to Llandudno, St Davids to Pennant Melangell, the names of saints are bound up with the very fabric of the country. Some, like David and Beuno, are well known, but many are forgotten.

Between 1907 and 1913, Sabine Baring-Gould and John Fisher published The Lives of the British Saints, a four-volume compendium of the traditions associated with all of the early saints of Wales (and elsewhere in Britain). The books are a treasure trove of facts and stories and remain a valuable quarry for information today. However, the authors were often uncritical of their sources, and tended to conflate unrelated saints with similar names, weaving detailed narratives based on misconceptions and guesswork. Many of the texts we are editing were not represented at all.

Despite its limitations, The Lives of the British Saints has not yet been superseded by any single collection. Our project is making a start in this direction: as well as the texts we are editing, our website will summarize all the sources, with maps of church-dedications and related place-names, for the leading saints of Wales.

Pages on each saint will hold data on, e.g., church-dedications, place-names and feast-days. We are collecting medieval and modern images, and summarising Latin and post-medieval sources.