Near the church in the village of Dunino on the B9131
This is without doubt the best ‘Sacred Well’ type site I have ever visited and was one of the highlights of my fortnight in Scotland. It is a superb place to visit.
We parked next to the church and I walked alone down the path running alongside the church towards the trees. It is a lovely little walk through the trees and you then come out to the promontory where the well is. The hole in the rock is circular (the water didn’t look that clean) and next to it is the foot carving – very similar to the one at Dunadd Fort. Yes, I did try my foot for size and yes it did fit!
From here I walked down the steep, slipper stone steps, cut through the cliff face which leads to the gorge floor and stream. This really is a very quaint set of steps although you do have to take care. As you reach the bottom you walk past the Celtic Knot carved into the rock (on your left). Whoever carved this did a very good job.
When I reached the gorge floor the first thing I noticed was the upside down tree trunk bug into the ground - a mini Seahenge no less! This is clearly still an important place to a lot of people. There were lots of ‘offerings’ all around. Teddies, toys, coins, ribbons, candles and even an old black and white photo of a couple sandwiched between two sheets of tin for protection. Someone’s deceased parents perhaps? Clooties festooned the lower branches of several trees. There was also a small hearth near the upside down tree trunk.
This place simply oozed with atmosphere. The sky was blue and the sun shone brightly down through the trees into the gorge, dappled by the leaves. Everywhere was shady and damp. Deep dark moss hung from rock and tree alike.
I really can’t put into words the sense of tranquillity felt here with only the sound of bird song and the trickle of water for company. Coming here gives an understanding of how the ‘sacred groves’ of old would be so important to the ancients. One thing is for sure, if there were such things as fairies, this is where you would find them.
I can’t recommend this place highly enough, especially on a day like today.
I left with a sense of contentment and a smile on my face.
This is why we travel all over the country to seek out these special places.
Posted by CARL
14th August 2014ce