In my last post, I took you to two of the four sacred springs/holy wells we visited on my June trip to England. Today, we’ll explore the other two:
St. Madron’s Well
This lovely spring is one we visited after Tintagel. There is a sign at the entrance which says, “Don’t change the site. Let the site change you.” I know it is meant to stop people from taking things, leaving things or defacing property, but the sign really resonated with me. And it is a place that will change you.
This one had a much shorter walk from the road, compared to others. We were surrounded on both sides by wildflowers and hawthorn, which gave off a scent similar to amoretto.
The chapel itself is built over an old pagan site and only part of it remains. Someone had left a beautiful wreath of flowers on the altar. You could also see where the stream, which was dry the day we were there, flowed into a basin-like area that later became a baptistery. While I was disappointed that the sacred spring was dry, nearby, another spring came to the surface and people had left an array of ribbons to honor the spirit of the spring.
The area behind the chapel held a special kind of energy for me. There were two large stones that seemed to me like a gateway to another world. Standing there with them, I could totally understand how the stone in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander caused her main character to go back in time. These had a similar, strange energy to them. That is where I chose to leave my ribbon.
On the way out, we walked a different route through a stand of ancient trees. I can’t even begin to describe how tall they were. I’ve never been to the redwoods in California, but I had an experience of awe looking up into these trees that I’d imagine is similar. They creaked and popped in the wind in a very ghostly way. I could have listened to it for hours. (I actually took video of them in case I use them in a future novel.)
This Cornish holy site is much like many of the others I’ve described, with the path lined with flowers and hawthorn. It also had a rocky, mossy area watched over by pines and oaks that looks exactly like I pictured the Beltane bower in my first book. I tried to get pictures, but none of them do its beauty justice.
Behind the chapel ruins is a Celtic cross which is a modern replica of the older ones in the church graveyard. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down how old it is. There is also a beautiful glade with a rope and tire swing, which Tres and I had fun playing on. On the way out, we toured the graveyard of the modern church, which boasts two ancient Hiberno-Saxon Celtic crosses.
That’s it for the holy wells. Next week we’ll start on standing stones and stone circles, so stay tuned!
What do you think about these two sacred wells? Have you been there? Would you want to go?