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This is one of the books produced by Finial Publishing


'Patrick of Bon Avon'
by Jean Manners Meffan
ISBN 1-900467-06-2 Price £12.99.
Softback. 155 x 235 mm (approximately) 356 pages

'Patrick of Bon Avon' is available from the author at:
3 Hayes Avenue
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH7 7AD
UK
Telephone 01202 309989
(0044 1202 309989 from outside the UK).

Price £12.99 including post & packing in the UK.
Please add £4.00 to cover post & packing for orders outside the UK.

Cheques to be made payable to
'Jean Manners Meffan'.


In the 12th Century, there lived a priest, scholar and gatherer of legends, called Geoffrey of Monmouth, who is famous for writing in 1136 the Historia Regum Brittanniae (History of British Kings).
There is one story amongst Geoffrey’s many writings which differs from the others, for it is about a ‘Prince Arthur’, perhaps, an early shadowy ‘historical’ future king or a lesser prince - it is not made clear.
It seems that the Prince so loathed the Saxons for daring to invade his country, that he vowed to kill as many of them as he could. He was not alone and thus he was able to amass a great Army. They gathered at Exeter and travelling north, killed everyone who even looked like a Saxon; leaving behind them a grisly trail of mangled, slaughtered bodies.
That was until they reached the most northerly part of Britain, which was the Clyde valley. From the south coast to the Clyde had been Roman Britain and Arthur believed that this was now his kingdom.
Geoffrey’s Historia informs us that when Prince Arthur’s forces reached land, just south of Loch Lomond, they suddenly changed tactics, deciding not to use their swords or daggers to kill the inhabitants. Instead, they herded them into the loch to either drown or swim to the islands - a strange thing for a blood-thirsty army to do! Geoffrey then goes on to relate how several bishops arrived and managed to persuade Arthur to turn around and ride south.
This story has a few puzzles and many people who have previously read it, have probably discarded the tale as a ‘fictitious flight of fancy’, for the area south of Loch Lomond - known as the Vale of Leven - does not now warrant the presence of one bishop!
So, what was the Vale like in the late 5th and early 6th centuries? This would probably have remained a mystery; just part of an old legend without any substance, until the publication of a new book on the life of St. Patrick, called ‘Patrick of Bon Avon’.
In this inspirational story, Scottish author - Jean Manners Meffan - claims that an area of the Vale of Leven called ‘Bonhill’, is not only the birth place of Patrick, but the site of the first Abbey dedicated to his name.
It is known that Patrick was born in a settlement called ‘Bonavon Tabernae’ somewhere in Dunbartonshire, but since there is no record of such a village, the exact location has remained a mystery. In her book, the author claims that ‘Bonavon Tabernae’ is not so much a village as a river - ‘Avon’ being the Roman word for river.
So, where exactly in Bonhill was Patrick’s home? And where was the Abbey built? Try taking a walk over Bonhill bridge from Alexandria, climb the steps to the top of the hill, turn around and look at the view of the Leven. The bridge is on your left and on the right is an old bleach and dye works called Dalmonach. Buried deep below it are the remains of the village of Bonavon Tibernae. Dalmonach? Where else, but ‘The place of the monks’.
St. Patrick, Dunbartonshire’s own Saint, was born in the village of Bonavon Tibernae (Bonhill) just as the Roman occupation of Britain was drawing to a close. At birth he was given the name of Maun, an abbreviation of Il Maundat, The Command - the last command of Jesus, ‘Love ye one another’. Although born into a privileged family, his life was made difficult due to what is known today as Dyslexia. He was intelligent and with some help struggled to train as a priest. When a boy of fifteen, he was taken into slavery, ill treated and left to die. The miracle of his revival was the beginning of his healing ministry. His love and compassion for mankind shines like a beacon throughout this book.

General enquiries or comments to Finial Publishing can be sent to mail@finial.co.uk


Finial Publishing Home Page

The magazines we have produced

Some of the books we have produced

Who we are and where you can contact us