A cluster of island hermitage sites in the Severn Estuary, South Wales, is associated with the graves of local saints. Some, in their primary phase, comprised a ‘special grave’, marked in some way, in a small inhumation cemetery, perhaps with an attached priest or hermit, though there is no evidence of early timber chapels. Later, the bodies were translated to new stone built churches, where they lay in the ‘position of honour’ south of the altar, usually in the floor of the church, but sometimes in a Romanesque shrine.

The sites were local pilgrimage centres, often with a priest’s house or hermitage building and sometimes associated with a larger mainland monastery. Where a group of priests were present, the foundation might be formalised as an Augustinian Priory. Parallels elsewhere in the Insular world show that they are part of a wider picture, worthy of further study.