Bert Hermans
"St. Brynach Church"
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm

This painting shows one of the most beautiful places Bert has ever visited: 'St. Brynach Church' near Nevern in Wales.
He was there on holiday on May 11, 2023.
Nevern is located on the Nyfer River north of the Presceli Hills. These hills have been inhabited for thousands of years. St Brynach Church is located a mile south of Nevern.

In the church and cemetery of Nevern there are stones with so-called Ogham and Latin inscriptions. They date from the 5th or 6th century. That was the time when the Irish St. Brynach came here and founded the church.
The stone with the Ogham inscriptions can be found in the windowsill of the church and is also depicted here in the painting. The Ogam inscription reads: MAGLICUNAS MAQI CLUTR. That means: (The stone) OF MAGLOCUNUS SON OF CLUTORIUS. Maglocunus was a 6th-century monarch from north-west Wales. The name Maglocunus means 'princely dog'. He expanded his influence and became one of Britain's most prominent rulers in the 6th century. He was a remarkably powerful man, both politically and physically: "the king of all kings... made you superior to almost all the kings of Britain, both in kingdom and in the form of your stature" (Gildas, De Excidio Britanniae , 33).

The Ogham is a Celtic alphabet that emerged in Ireland in the fourth century and was used to make inscriptions on standing stones until the ninth century. The characters consist of a straight base line with one to five side lines, straight or diagonally crossing lines on the left or right. The Ogham alphabet is associated with trees and druids and, in addition to writing, is also used for god worship and magic.
It has long been thought that these stones were gravestones, but because no buried body has ever been found near such an ogham stone, it is now assumed that they were more memorial stones or monuments for important people or heroes. The erection of these types of ogham stones continued until the eighth century.
The vast majority of stones are in Ireland, but stones with ogham inscriptions have also been found in Wales, Scotland and England.

To the left of the window (also depicted in the painting) hangs a gravestone from the 18th century. The text that can be read on it is also special. The last words are:
"Envy not my happiness
For I am Gone before
Prepared to Follow Me
And live for ever more.”