The year is 1878 and whilst sorting through items in an attack in Holywell, two sets of human bones are discovered in a wooden box. Now nearly 150 years after they are found they have been identified as the skulls and bones of the Welsh Martyrs St. Philip Evans and St. John Lloyd; an extraordinary discovery that had been shrouded in mystery.
St. Philip Evans was a Jesuit priest who was born in Monmouth in 1645 and served the surrounding area as a priest in the time of the Reformation. He was arrested in December 1678 and imprisoned in Cardiff Castle. A few weeks later he was joined in the dungeon by a secular priest, St. John Lloyd who was arrested at Penlline in Glamorgan. They were imprisoned together for 5 months before being found guilty of treason and taken to the Gallows Field (now a major intersection in Cardiff) where they were hung, drawn and quartered.
Both martyrs were canonised by Pope St Paul VI on 25th October 1970.