THE bells of St Brynach’s Church, Nevern, rang out for the first time in 120 years on Thursday, July 8, to welcome a royal visitor.

The bells and the bell tower have been restored as a result of great local effort, starting in 2017, with more than half a million pounds being raised for the cause.

Prince Charles was met at St Brynach’s by the church’s focal minister, Stephen Watkins who said the visit was a ‘wonderful event and a wonderful surprise’.

During a tour of the church the prince met local Alice Tennant and admired her work. He then met Nevern Flower Festival organiser, Ceridwen Phillips. While admiring the floral displays he told her that his ‘darling wife loved flower arranging’ and that he had a lot of delphiniums, which were prominent in the display, in his own garden.

The prince also met church organist, Linda Phillips and Lt Col Hywel Davies, chairman of the bell chamber restoration project and his hard-working committee.

Prince Charles then got to try his hand at bell ringing in the church tower, where he chimed the church’s three Ellacombe bells, including the Agatha Christie bell.

As the prince left the church, the newly restored bells rang out in a ten-bell peal for the first time in more than a century.

As the bells chimed in the warm sunshine Prince Charles visited Nevern’s famous Celtic Cross and bleeding yew tree.

In the church hall Prince Charles met members of Nevern Community Council and Castle Committee. Committee chair, Kath Whitehead, said the committee was ‘delighted’ to welcome the prince and share with him some of the finds made during excavation.

Back in the sunshine he was presented with a corn dolly by Wyn Harries, chairman of Nevern Show, and two bottles of Carningli Dairy milk by John and Meryl Roberts, show trustee and secretary. The prince could be heard extolling the virtues of ‘really good proper creamy milk’ and wished all three the best with the show.

Before leaving Prince Charles met George the shire horse, from Gentle Giants in Moylegrove. As patron of the Shire Horse Society the prince had an affinity for George and enjoyed meeting his owner, John Fletcher who said it was ‘an honour’ to meet the future monarch.