Oh you TMA ers what have you started! Holy wells loads of them. Lovely walk to this well, overhanging gnarly hawthorne. Mossy green hewn steps down to the well. Candles & coins, bouquets of flowers. Had a drink of the radioactive water, living dangerously! Now glow in the dark!
There are ruins of an old building & two overgrown slate gravestones by the well. Two big old stones in the hedge of adjoining field where a horse came up for a pet & handfuls of grass.
Evocative place, noisy with the cawing of lots of crows in the trees near the church.
Although some of the places we’ve visited on this trip to Cornwall seemed very different to my past recollections of them, Sancreed Well felt so familiar I could have been here yesterday rather than ten years ago. As soon as we drove into Sancreed I remembered the phone box you park up next to, at the side of which is the path to the well.
The path seemed very overgrown though, and I began to wonder how long it might have been since someone last came this way. The answer was obviously very recently as when we arrived at the well the small glow of a freshly lit tealight shone out at us from the gloom of the subterranean well chamber, so someone was here very recently, despite us seeing no sign of anyone around, either on the path or as we drove through the village, spooky.
The well itself is a magical place, a little verdant grotto with an otherworldly feeling as you descend the steps down to the clear cold water, your breath misting in the cave like interior. Green mosses and ferns sprout from the side walls, and no matter the antiquity of this well the tranquil atmosphere it exudes makes it ever a sacred place.
I didn’t notice any phosphorescence in the well chamber, but it probably needs to be darker to see the effect. Although nearby is a modern stone Celtic cross, this still feels a pagan place, the overhanging hawthorn tree covered in offerings. I must say the offerings left here are lovely, several pyrographed pieces of wood hang from the tree, exhibiting an artistry that must have taken some time to complete, crystals, ribbons and windchimes are also in evidence, and there is a refreshing lack of mouldy old ribbons or plastic which sometimes blight these places, it’s evident someone cares for and regularly visits the place, and if I lived down this way I would too.
I had just visited Boscowan and Carn Euny in 2002 with my daughter and decided to take a scenic route back via the byeway from the iron-age village to Grumbia. On the way to Sancreed my daughter spotted the "Holy Well" sign on the road and we stopped to have a look.
The path was relatively clear and made a pleasant walk, getting overgrown and muddy for a bit nearer to the well. Its well worth a visit (no pun intended!) and I would say the whole immediate area is a good place for some quiet contemplation.
The inside of the well is very green with a large number of offerings. The photo I have added here does not do justice to the fairy-grotto feel inside.
Apparently the background radiation in the well is much higher than the local average, so I would suggest that one does not stay over-long inside or drink the water!
Outside the well is a cross and a tree covered in clouties. When we were in Cyprus the previous year we looked at a cloutie tree and found, amongst other items, a pair of satin black knickers which made me wonder what was being wished for!
There are numerous bits of stone outside, remnants from the chapel that once stood there.
I took the approach from the telephone box opposite Sancreed Church, which had a sign advising that an alternative path was available 300yds up the road. The approach was long and narrow - no room for a wheelchair here. The path is quite clearly delineated, except for one point where stiles appear both in front, and to the right. I chose right, which was right! A short incline, and the well appeared in front of me. The first thing I saw was the ugly modern cross that's been erected here. Climbing down into the well, I spotted the phosphorescence straight away, but it proved difficult to photograph. Sitting in the cracks on the far walls, it gave the impression of minute fairy grottoes, complete with lighting!
After 10 minutes or so, I began to feel uneasy, and had the start of a headache, so decided to leave. But before finally leaving I took a quick look at the remains of the small chapel just above the well. Only part of the walls remain, similar to, but in a worse condition than the chapel at Madron Well.
Leaving via the continuation of the footpath, after a short climb a stile led to the road, just around the corner from my starting point.
I have been visiting this site for years studying the radiation. It comes from radon gas which is in so high concentrations in the chamber that it can even be measured with a geiger counter. It is generally accepted that radon cannot be measured with a geiger counter, and perhaps radon gas itself cannot, but it decays into decay products which are themselves radioactive and can be measured with a geiger counter at concentrations exceeding about 5,000Bq cubic metre (compare with government action level of 200). We have measured it with a range of more sophisticated equipment, but for those without more sophisticated equipment, if you sit half an hour in the chamber breathing the air, your nostrils will register on a geiger counter - DON'T panic! The radioactive radon decay products are short lived and will decay to low levels in a couple of hours.
Found this place by accident after a visit to Carn Euny in September 2001. We went on a bit of a scenic route home, and spotted the "Holy Well" sign - thought it was "Holy Well Farm" or something! Looks like a garden gate to me... Still - we took the chance, and I am so glad we did! This is the most peaceful place I have ever been to. Every time I visit this place (about 5 times now), there is never anyone else around! It's a place of contemplation and reflection... Sitting on the steps inside the well, staring into the water, it's easy to lose track of time... I'm sure I read here that radiation levels are about 200% above normal, which could account for the luminous moss and the feeling of well being! I had a little pray, tied me cloutie, and went away a happy man. Again.
Originally heading to Boscawen un circle, the weather changed to heavy rain so I opted to come to the well, wonderful place, very powerful and evocative, less the garbage which is strewn across the poor hawthorn tree!, still though I sat within the well, trance comes easy here..
The well itself flooded due to the recent heavy rains, and the surrounding area rather muddy, but neverless a beautiful place..I stayed for a couple of hours...it got dark and the well came alive!, as does the rest of Penwith!!..
I gave healing to the poor tree..after I had removed "all" the rubbish from its branches!...again it could breathe easy!..
Visiting in June 2002CE you could feel a sense of peacefulness and calm. Also moss lining the wall could be seen to be Luminescent, I have know idea as to what cause's this Phenomena (maybe radiation!) or if this only occurs at certain times, will update on next visit.
In the parish of Sancred there is a Well whose Water rises in the same kind of soil as Madern Well; and as a witness of its having done remarkable cures, it has a chapel adjoining to it, dedicated to St. Euinus; the ruins of which, consisting of much carved stone, bespeak it to have been formerly of no little note. The Water has the reputation of drying humours, as well as healing wounds and sores. It gives no perceivable evidence of any mineral impregnation; neither need it to produce the effect attributed to it, for certain it is, that the mere coldness of Water will work surprizing cures; wounds, sores, aches, disordered eyes, and the like, are often cured by that quality only; the cold by bracing up the nerves and muscles, and strengthening the glands, promotes secretion and circulation, the two great ministers of health.
In the northern kingdoms they are so sensible that all extraordinary defluxions of humours are owing to too great a relaxation of the parts, that they keep carefully the water of snow gathered in March, and apply it as a general remedy for most diseases: but the common people (of this as well as other countries) will not be contented to attribute the benefit they receive to ordinary means; there must be something marvellous in all their cures.
I happened luckily to be at this Well upon the last day of the year on which (according to the vulgar opinion) it exerts its principal and most salutary powers: two women were here who came from a neighbouring parish, and were busily employed in bathing a child: they both assured me, that people who had a mind to receive any benefit from St. Euny's Well, must come and wash upon the three first Wednesdays in May. But to leave folly to its own delusion, it is certainly very gracious in Providence to distribute a remedy for so many disorders in a quality so universally found as cold is in unmixed Well-water.
The many strips of cloth (or "clouties") which adorn the trees here. This tradition is still quite common in Britain as it is in many other parts of the world. The idea being to tear a piece of cloth from the part of the body which is ill, and as the cloth rots on the tree so the hurt disappears with it.
A few years ago there was great consternation in the local pagan community when unidentified persons took offence at the "heathen" practice and cut down the branches to which the clouties were tied. An act showing great disrespect for the beliefs of those who left offerings. On the other hand, however, some people miss the point and leave all sorts of things - plastic bags, crisp packets, foil wrappers - which can be an eyesore.
The radiation at Sancreed Weel was found to be 200% above local background level. This is thought to help promote a trance-like state to anyone undertakeing visionary work at the well; possibly accounting for the intense feeling of peace and calm experienced here by many people.
Local people say that to spend too long at the well can drain your energy too much and cause depression.