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St. Decuman
(Died AD 706)
(Welsh: Degyman; Latin: Decumanus; English: Decman)

Decuman was born of noble parents in south-west Wales, probably at Llanddegyman (Rhoscrowdder) in Pembrokeshire where he is patron of the parish church. He also had a chapel at nearby Pwllcrochan. Decuman was instructed in Roman Catholic, rather than Celtic doctrine. Wishing to escape from worldly companions, he crossed the Bristol Channel on a hurdle of rods (possibly a coracle), and landed near the Royal Dumnonian refortified hillfort where Dunster Castle in Somerset now stands. At nearby St. Decumans, adjoining Watchet, he became a hermit, gaining sustenance from the produce of his single cow. He was eventually slain by an unsympathetic pagan, who cut off his head with a spade. Decumanís well there was an object of veneration well into the 16th century. He seems to have travelled around the West Country, for there was once a chapel dedicated to him at Degibma in Wendron (Cerniw); but when he founded the now lost chapel at Llanfihangel Cwm Du in Brycheiniog is unknown. Decuman died on 27th August, traditionally in AD 706, although this seems rather late.


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