St. Clether – November 4th2 min read
St. Clether (also known as Clederus or Cleder) was a son of King Brychan Brycheiniog, ruler of what was later Brecknockshire, in south Wales. After his father’s death, Clether ruled an area of northern Dyfed, based around Nevern. He married, and had around 20 sons. When Clether was an old man the missionary St Brynach arrived at his court. Clether was swayed by his message and decided to abdicate his crown and retire to live out his days as a hermit.
The rest of his family followed his example, and his sons became Brynach’s followers. A memorial to one of his sons named Maelgwn can still be seen inside Nevern church.
Clether’s brother St Nechtan, or Nectan, went to the West Country, to what is now Cornwall, and Clether followed him, settling in the valley of the River Inny, at what is now St Clether. Other children of King Brychan settled in Cornwall, including saints Minver, Mabyn, Winnow, Duloe, Issey, Morwenna, and Keyne. Their names live on in the names of churches or parishes surrounding St Clether village.St.
He built a hermitage for himself beside a spring and set up an altar made of granite. It is thought that he also established a holy well at Probus.
Clether died in the mid-6th century and was buried in his hermitage. The well water became famous for its miraculous healing qualities, supposedly infused with the saintly spirit of St Clether’s body when it was laid to rest by the altar.