St Patrick on the Mendips

St Patrick’s Day – and since learning I have a significant percentage of Irish DNA I feel justified in celebrating as someone with green blood in their veins! I am wearing my ‘Tóg go bog é‘ t-shirt, and no doubt later I will sample some Guinness and maybe a  uisce beatha or two too!

As I now live in Somerset it is even better that St Patrick himself was born not far from here, in Banwell a little further along the Mendip chain from our little village of Uphill, at the mouth of the River Axe which follows the course of the hills. Of course, plenty of other places in England, Wales and further north lay claim to being Patrick’s birthplace, but I’m sure this was the place the pirates who kidnapped him came up the river to snatch him and others to sell into slavery.

Henry Jelley wrote this “It is my view that Patrick was in fact born in south-western England, in Somerset, at or near the village of Banwell, five miles east of Weston-super-Mare. A settlement of late Roman date is known in the area. The archaeology of the region, which was highly Romanised, suggests Somerset was a plausible location for Patrick’s family estate – unlike some of the remoter locations suggested – while placename evidence supports a Somerset location directly.”

Here is an article about it – and you can buy Henry’s book:


Oh and ‘tóg go bog é’ means ‘take it easy‘!


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