A CORRESPONDENT of the Gentleman's Magazine, writing on this interesting subject, says: In Cornwall there are several wells which bear the name of some patron saint, who appears to have had a chapel consecrated to him or her on the spot. This appears by the name of Chapel Saint-attached by tradition to the spot. These chapels were most probably mere oratories; but in the parish of Maddern there is a well called Maddern Well, which is inclosed in a complete baptistery, the walls, seats, doorway, and altar of which still remain. The socket which received the base of the crucifix or pedestal of the saint's image is perfect. The foundations of the outer walls are apparent. The whole ruin is very picturesque, and I wonder that it is passed in so slight a manner by all Cornish historians, and particularly by Dr. Borlase, who speaks merely of the virtues superstitiously ascribed to the waters. This neglect in Borlase is the more to be wondered at, as the ruin is situated' in his native parish. I was struck with being informed that the superstitious of the neighbourhood attend on the first Thursday in May to consult this oracle by dropping pins, etc. Why on Thursday? May not this be some vestige of the day on which baptisteries were opened after their being kept shut and scaled during Lent, which was on Maundy Thursday ? My informant told me that Thursday was the particular day of the week, though some came on the second and third Thursday. May was the first month after Easter, when the waters had been especially blessed; for then was the great time of baptism. When I visited this well last week, I found in it a polyanthus and some article of an infant's dress, which showed that votaries had been there. After the sixth century, these baptisteries were removed into the church.



To this well, about a mile to the north, in the parish of St. Madron, many extraordinary properties have been ascribed. Dr. Borlase says: "The soil round this well is black, boggy, and light; but the strata through which the spring rises is a gray moorstone gravel. Here people who labour under pains, aches, and stiffness of limbs, come and wash; and many cures are said to have been performed, although the water can only act by its cold and limpid nature, as it has no mineral impregnation." "Its fame in former ages was greater for the supposed virtue of healinge which St. Madderne had thereinto infused, and manie votaries made anuale pylgrimages unto it, as they

[Illustration: Doom Well of St. Madron]

doe even at this day, unto the Well of St. Winnifrede beyond Chester in Denbighshire, whereunto thousands doe yearelye make resort: but of late St. Maderne hath denied his (or her I know not whether) pristine ayde; and he is coye of his cures, so now are men coy of comynge to his conjured well, yet soom a daye resort. Though this writer seems to despise the efficacy of these waters, the tradition of their virtues still remained amongst the Cornish, only a century ago. Borlase said: To this miraculous fountain, the uneasy, the impatient, the fearful, the jealous, and the superstitious, resort to learn their future destiny from the unconscious water. By dropping pins or pebbles into the fountain, by shaking the ground around the spring, or by continuing to raise bubbles from the bottom, on certain lucky days, and [11] when the moon is in a particular stage of increase or decrease, the secrets of the well are presumed to be extorted. This superstition continued to prevail up to the beginning of the present century, and is still spoken of with respect by some, particularly the aged. In the year 1640, John Trelille, who had been an absolute cripple for sixteen years, and was obliged to crawl upon his bands by reason of the close contraction of the sinews of his legs, upon three several admonitions in his dreams, washing in St. Madern's Well and sleeping afterwards in what was called St. Madern's bed, was suddenly and perfectly cured. Of all writers, Bishop Hall, sometime Bishop of the diocese of these western parts, bears the most honourable testimony to the efficacy of this well. In his Mystery of Godliness, when speaking of the good office which angels do to God's servants, the Bishop says:

[Illustration: St. Madron (plan of well)]

Of whiche kind was that noe less than miraculous cure whiche at Madern's Well, in Cornwall, was wrought on a poor cripple, whereof, besides the attestation of many hundreds of the neighhours, I saw him able to walk and get his own maintenance. I took strict and impartial examination in my last triennial visitation. I found neither art nor collusion, the cure done, the author an invisible God. At the side of Madron well, which lies on the moor, a mile or so from the church, is a stone seat, formerly known as St. Madron's bed (Madron is spelt Madden in some old manuscripts). It was upon this that impotent folk reclined when they came to try the cold-water cure. There was also a chapel, about 200 yards away. The chapel was 25 feet by 16 feet, and contained an altar ; a sketch of the ground-plan is given above. It was partially destroyed by Cromwell; but the ruins remain, and [12] still retain the old stone-altar--a rough slab of granite, with a small square hole in the centre, A. Those who were benefited gave alms to the poor and to the church. This was done down to the middle of the seventeenth century. The well of St. Madderne is still frequented at the parish feast, which takes place in July. On the top of the ruined wall is an old thorn-bush, covered with bits of rag fluttering in the wind, tied there as votive offerings.


An illustration of this interesting old well is given below.

[Illustration: Laneast]


The reputed virtues of this well have survived the entire destruction of the edifice which enclosed the spring, for it is still resorted to by those afflicted with inflamed eyes and other ailments, and if "ceremonies due" are done aright, with great benefit. It must be visited on three mornings before sunrise, fasting, a [13] relic of a veritable ceremony, as witnesseth Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale, line 33.

If the goode man that the beest oweth,
Wol every wike er that the cok him croweth,
Fastynge, drinke of this well a draugbt,
As thilke holy Jew oure eldres taught,
His beestes, and his stoor schal multiplier


An engraving of this well with its curious covering is here given.

[Illustration: Linkenhorne]


St. Euny's Well, in the parish of Sancred, south-west of Madron, occupies a soil similar to the Madern Well. Its waters, and its various virtues, both real and imaginary, are similar. Contiguous are the ruins of an old chapel, among which are many stones curiously carved, which strongly indicate that there was a period when this place was in high estimation. Age and repute are the parents of veneration, and veneration, in process of time, frequently degenerates into superstition. Among the reputed excellences of this fountain, it is believed to have the property of drying humours, and healing wounds and sores, of various descriptions. But it is only at particular seasons of the year that the tide of its virtues can be caught. The last day in the year is generally supposed to be more fortunate than any other, and at this time many resort thither, to catch the holy impregnation. There is no doubt that many cures have been wrought by this fountain ; but it is only superstition [14] that will attach these effects to any magical efficacy. Not only by the water of this well, but by the water of others unknown to fame, many wounds, sores, disordered eyes, and other complaints, have been removed by their mere coldness and natural salubrity. Cold braces the nerves and muscles, and, by strengthening the glands, promotes secretion and circulation, the two grand ministers of health. Dr. Borlase says : "I happened luckily to be at this well upon the last day of the year, on which, according to 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." Children suffering from mesenteric disease should be dipped three times in Chapel Uny "widderschynnes," and widderschynnes" dragged three times round the well,.


Beside a path leading to the oratory of St. Pirian's, in the sands, there is a spot where thousands of pins may be found. It was the custom to drop one or two pins at this place when a child was baptized, and this custom was even retained within the recollection of some of the elder inhabitants of the parish. There are other places in this county where pins may be collected by the handful, particularly at the holy wells. The spring rises at the foot of Carn Brea.


This well is half a mile east of the interesting Decorated and Perpendicular Church of the same name, 2 ½ miles on the road from West Looe. It is a spring of rare virtues in the belief of the country people. It is covered in by masonry, upon the top of which formerly grew five large trees--a Cornish elm, an oak, and three antique ash-trees--on so narrow a space that it is difficult to imagine how the roots could have been accommodated. There now remain only two of these trees--the elm, which is large and fine, and one of the ash-trees.

According to the legend, St. Keyne, a holy and beautiful virgin, of British royal blood, daughter of Braganus, Prince of Brecknockshire, said to have been the aunt of St. David of Wales, visited this country about 490. She was sought in marriage by [15] men of distinction. On a pilgrimage to St. Michael's Mount, and remaining sometime in Cornwall, she so endeared herself to the people, that she was hardly allowed to depart. Her nephew, St. Cadock, making a pilgrimage to the same place, in surprise found her, and tried to persuade her to return to Brecknockshire,

[Illustration: St.  Keyne's Well]

which eventually she did. Cadock stuck his stick in the earth, and originated the spring, which St. Keyne gave to the people ill return for the church) which they had dedicated in her honour. One of her fancies was to reside in a wood at Keynsham. The chief of the country warned her of the venomous serpents which [16] swarmed the wood. St. Keyne answered that she would by her prayers rid the country of snakes, and they were turned into the ammonites, frequently found in the lias rock in that district. The well is said to share with St. Michael's Chair at the Mount the marvellous property of confirming the ascendancy of either husband or wife who, the first after marriage, can obtain a draught of water from the spring, or be seated in the chair. This mystical well is the subject of the following lines by Southey

A well there is in the west country,
And a clearer one never was seen
There is not a wife in the west country
But has heard of the well of St. Keyne.

An oak and an elm-tree stand beside,
And behind doth an ash-tree grow,
And a willow from the bank above
Droops to the water below.

A traveller came to the well of St. Keyne,
Joyfully he drew nigh,
For from cock-crow he had been travelling,
And there was not a cloud in the sky.

He drank of the water so cool and clear,
For thirsty and hot was he,
And he sat down upon the bank
Under the willow-tree.

There came a man from the house hard by
At the well to fill his pail
On the well-side he rested it,
And he bade the stranger hail.

"Now, art thou a bachelor, stranger ?" quoth he,
"For an' if thou hast a wife,
The happiest draught thou hast drank this day,
That ever thou didst in thy life.

Or fast thy good woman, if one thou hast,
Ever here in Cornwall been?
For an' if she have, I'll venture my life
She has drank of the well of St. Keyne."

"I have left a good woman who never was here,"
The stranger he made reply,
"But that my draught should be the better for that,
I pray you answer me why."

"St. Keyne," quoth the Cornishman, "many a time
Drank of this crystal well,
And before the angels summon'd her,
She laid on the water a spell.


"If the husband of this gifted well
Shall drink before his wife,
A happy man henceforth is he,
For he shall be master for life.

But if the wife should drink of it first,
God help the husband then !"
The stranger stoop'd to the well of St. Keyne,
And drank of the water again.

"You drank of the well I warrant betimes?"
He to the Cornishman said :
But the Cornishman smiled as the stranger spake,
And sheepishly shook his head.

I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done,
And left my wife in the porch
But i' faith she had been wiser than me,
For she took a bottle to church."


On the western side of the beautiful valley through which flows the Trelawny River, and near Hobb's Park, in the parish of Pelynt, Cornwall, is St. Nunn's or St. Ninnie's Well. Its position was, until very lately, to be discovered by the oak and bramble which grew upon its roof. It is entered by a doorway with a stone lintel, and overshadowed by an oak. The front of the well is of a pointed form, and has a rude entrance about 4 feet high, and is spanned above by a single flat stone, which leads into a grotto, with an arched roof The walls on the interior are draped with the luxuriant fronds of spleen-wort) hart's tongue, and a rich undercovering of liverwort. At the farther end of the floor is a round granite basin with a deeply moulded rim, and ornamented with a series of rings, each enclosing a cross or a ball. The water weeps into it from an opening at the back, and escapes again by a hole in the bottom. This interesting piece of antiquity has been protected by a tradition which we could almost wish to attach to some of our cromlechs and circles in danger of spoliation.

An old farmer (so runs the legend) once set his eyes upon the granite basin and coveted it, for it was no wrong in his eyes to convert the holy font to the base uses of a Pigsty and accordingly he drove his oxen and wain to the gateway above for the purpose of removing it. Taking his beasts to the entrance of the well, he essayed to drag the trough from its ancient bed. For a long time it resisted the efforts of the oxen, but at length they succeeded in [18] starting it, and dragged it slowly up the hillside to where the wain was standing. Here, however, it burst away from the chains which held it, and, rolling back again to the well, made a sharp turn and regained its old positions, where it has remained ever since. Nor will anyone again attempt its removal, seeing that the farmer, who was previously well-to-do in the world, never prospered from that day forward. Some people say, indeed, that

[Illustration: Pelynt, St. Nun's Well]

retribution overtook him on the spot, the oxen falling dead, and the owner being struck lame and speechless.

Though the superstitious hinds had spared the well, time and storms of winter had been slowly ruining it. The oak which grew upon its roof had, by its roots, dislodged several stones of the arch, and, swaying about in the wind, had shaken down a large mass of masonry in the interior, and the greater part of the front. On its ruinous condition being made known to the Trelawny [19] family (on whose property it is situated), they ordered the restoration, and the walls were replaced after the original plan.

This well and a small chapel (the site of which is no longer to be traced, though still pointed out by the older tenantry) were dedicated, it is supposed, to St. Ninnie, or St. Nun, a female saint, who, according to William of Worcester, was the mother of St. David. The people of the neighbourhood knew the well by the names St. Ninnie's, St. Nun's, and Piskies' Well. It is probable that the latter is, after all, the older name, and that the guardianship of the spring was usurped at a later period by the saint whose name it occasionally bears. The water was doubtless used for sacramental purposes; yet its mystic properties, if they were ever supposed to be dispensed by the saint, have been again transferred, in the popular belief, to the Piskies.

In the basin of the well may be found a great number of pins, thrown in by those who have visited it out of curiosity, or to avail themselves of the virtues of its waters. A writer, anxious to know what meaning the peasantry attach to this strange custom, on asking a man at work near the spot, was told that it was done "to get the goodwill of the Piskies," who after the tribute of a pin not only ceased to mislead them, but rendered fortunate the operations of husbandry.


In the parish of Altarnum or Alternon, there is a well dedicated in honour of St. Nonna, who is said to have been the daughter of an Earl of Cornwall, and mother of St. David, whose waters were supposed to have the power of curing madness; and according to Carew and Borlase the process was as follows: The water running from this sacred well was conducted to a small square enclosure closely walled in on every side, and might be filled at any depth, as the case required. The frantic person was placed on the wall, with his back to the water; without being permitted to know what was going to be done, he was knocked backwards into the water, by a violent blow on the chest, when he was tumbled about in a most unmerciful manner, until fatigue had subdued the rage which unmerited violence had occasioned. Reduced by ill-usage to a degree of weakness which ignorance mistook for returning sanity, the patient was conveyed to church with much solemnity, where certain Masses were said for him. If after this treatment he [20] recovered, St. Nun had all the praise; but in case he remained the same, the experiment was repeated so often as any hope of life or recovery was left. The mystic properties of this well have been transferred by the vulgar to the Pixies, whose goodwill is obtained by an offering of a pin.


At the foot of the holy well in St. Agnes, a place formerly of great repute, Dr. Borlase says he thinks the remains of a similar well to the last are still discernible, though the sea has demolished the walls. . The Cornish call this immersion "boussening," from beuzi or budhizzi in the Corno-British and Armoric, signifying to dip or to drown.


This miraculous well, in the parish of Gulval or Gulfwell, was formerly in high repute. It was customary to resort thither at the feast time. Formerly it was famous for its prophetic properties. It is situated, like St. Madern Well, in a moor, called Forsis Moor, in the manor of Lanesly, which was the name of the parish in 1294. This name implies the existence of an ancient church upon the manor, and probably it stood near this well. The spirit of this fountain could not penetrate the recesses of futurity, but it could reveal secrets, and with the assistance of an old woman who was intimately acquainted with all its mysteries, could, inform those who visited it whether their absent friends were alive or dead, in sickness or in health. On approaching this intelligent fountain, the question was proposed aloud to the old woman, when the following appearances gave the reply: If the absent friend were in health, the water was instantly to bubble ; if sick, it was to be suddenly discoloured; but if dead, it was to remain in its natural state. Probably this old woman could discern bubbles, or discoloured water, when no eyes but her own were, competent to make the observation; and it was easy to regulate this by means which fortune-tellers usually know how to use.

This old priestess died about the year 1748. Her fame drew many to consult her, from various parts; some from motives of mere curiosity, and others to obtain intelligence of lost goods or cattle. Since her death, the well has suffered considerably in its character. Most of its ancient friends are dead; and many who secretly revere its power are silent in its praises. Multitudes [21] totally disbelieve its miraculous efficacy, and suspicions of its magical virtues appear to be daily increasing.


About half a mile from St. Austell there is an enclosed well of remarkably pure water, known as Menacuddle Well, i.e., maen-a-

[Illustration: Well chapel at Menacuddle, St.  Austell]

coedl, the hawk's stone; and also the remains of its little chapel or baptistry. The chapel is 11 feet long, 9 feet wide. There are north and south doorways, B B, 2 feet 9 inches wide, and 5 feet high, The spring rises on the east side, and the basin, A A, is divided by a stone bar. Its romantic situation moves us more [22] than any idea of the virtue of the water. It is also a wishing well. It lies in a vale at the foot of Menacuddle Grove, surrounded with romantic scenery, and covered with an ancient Gothic chapel, overgrown with ivy. The virtues of these waters are very extraordinary, but the advantages to be derived from them are rather attributed to the sanctity of the fountain than to the natural excellence of its stream. Weak children have frequently been carried here to be bathed ; ulcers have also been washed in its sacred water, and people in season of sickness have been recommended by the neighbouring matrons to drink of this salubrious fluid. In most of these cases, instances may be procured of benefits received from the application, but

[Illustration: Menacuddle ground plan]

the prevailing opinion is that the advantages enjoyed result rather from some mystical virtue attributed to the waters for ages past, than from the natural qualities. Within the memory of persons now living, this well was a place of general resort for the young and thoughtless. On approaching the margin, each visitor, if he hoped for good luck through life, was expected to throw a crooked pin into the water, and it was presumed that the other pins which had been deposited there by former devotees might be seen rising from their beds, to meet it before it reached the bottom, and though many have gazed with eager expectation, no one has yet been permitted to witness this extraordinary phenomenon.


In the midst of the dreary waste of Glonhilly, which occupies a large portion of the Lizard promontory, is a large piece of water known as the Croft Pasco Pool," where it is said at night the [23] form of a ghostly vessel may be seen floating with lug sails spread. A more dreary, weird spot could hardly be selected for a witches' meeting, and the Lizard folks were always--a fact--careful to be back before dark, preferring to suffer inconvenience to risking a sight of the ghostly lugger. Unbelieving people attributed the origin of the tradition to a white horse seen in a dim twilight, standing in the shallow water; but this was indignantly rejected by the mass of residents. (Hunt's Popular Romances of England, 1st Series, P. 299.)


On the western side of Mount's Bay, between the fishing towns of Newlyn and Mousehole, is the well-known anchoring place known by the above name. It is not a little curious that any part of the ocean should have been called a lake. Tradition, however, helps us to an explanation. Between the land on the western side of the bay and St. Michael's Mount on the eastern side, there at one time extended a forest of beech-trees. Within this forest on the western side was a large lake, and on its banks a hermitage. The saint of the lake was celebrated far and near for his holiness, and his small oratory was constantly resorted to by the diseased in body and the afflicted in mind. None ever came in the true spirit who failed to find relief. The prayers of the saint, and the waters of the lake, removed the pains from the limbs and the deepest sorrows from the mind. The young were strengthened, and the old revived, by their influences. The great flood, how ever, which separated the islands of Scilly from England submerged the forest, and destroyed the land enclosing this lovely and almost holy lake, burying beneath the waters churches and houses, and destroying alike both the people and the priest. Those who survived this sad catastrophe built a church on the hill, and dedicated it to the saint of the lake, or, in Cornish, St. Pol, modernised into St. Paul. In support of this tradition, we may see on a fine summer day, when the tide is low and the waters clear, the remains of a forest, in the line passing from St. Michael's Mount to Gwavas. At neap tides the people have gathered beech-nuts from the sands below Chyandour, and cut the wood from the trees imbedded in the sand.--ibid., 218.


In the parish of St. Cleather, Cornwall, and on the granite sprinkled banks of the Innay, lie the ruins of a well chapel. The


[Illustration: St. Basil ground plan]

spring of water flows from under the altar, A, which is marked with four crosses. The chapel is known by the name of Basil's Well.


Many extraordinary virtues have been ascribed to this well, which is situated one mile west of Bodmin ; but of late years its reputation has so much declined that its situation is scarcely known. Its imaginary properties resembled those of the Madern Well, but the cures which it wrought were too scanty to secure its reputation.


In Trelevean, in the neighbourhood of Mevagissey, there was in former years an extraordinary well, called the Brass Well, from the peculiar colour of the scum which floated on its surface. Its efficacy was, however, insufficient to perpetuate its name, and to the present incredulous age its many virtues seem to be totally unknown.


Roche, north of St. Austell, famous for the Roche rocks, with St. Michael's Chapel built amongst them. Once tenanted by a hermit; then by a leper, whose daughter waited on him, and drew water from a well, said to ebb and flow, called after her. To St. Gundred's, near a group of cottages called Hollywell village,


[Illustration: St. Roche Wishing Well]

maidens would repair on Holy Thursday, to throw in pins and pebbles, and predict coming events by the sparkling of the bubbles which rise up. Lunatics were also immersed in it.


The well of St. Cleer, the baptistery or chapel by which it was enclosed, and an ancient cross about 9 feet high, form a group by the roadside 100 yards eastward below the church, north of Liskeard. The chapel was destroyed by fanatics in the Civil War, but appears to have been similar in size and construction to that which now stands by Dupath Well, near Callington. It was restored in 1864 as a memorial to the Rev. John Jope, sixty-seven years Vicar of St. Cleer. The well is said to have been once used as a boussening or ducking pool, for the cure of mad people. Attempts have from time to time been made to cart away some of the stones of the chapel, but mysterious power has always [26] returned them at night. The entrance is under two low round arches, the roof covered with ivy and brushwood. The water flowing out of the well fills a pool or basin, supposed to have been used as a boussening pool for curing mad people. St. Clare was born about 1200, in Italy, and died 1252. She

[Illustration: St.  Cleer.]

became the abbess of a monastery of Benedictine nuns, and was foundress of the order of the Poor Clares.--E. Ashworth, Esq.


Dupath Well is a pellucid spring, once the resort of pilgrims and still held in esteem. It overflows a trough, and entering the open archway of a small chapel, spreads itself over the floor and passes out below a window at the opposite end. The little chapel, 12 feet long by 11 ½ wide, is a complete specimen of the baptisteries anciently so common in Cornwall. It has a most venerable appearance, and is built of granite, which is gray and worn by [27] age. The roof is constructed of enormously long blocks of granite, hung with fern, and supported in the interior by an arch, dividing the nave and chancel. The doorway faces west; at the east end is a square-headed window of two lights, and two openings in the sides. The building is crowned by an ornamental bell-cote. The well is famed for the combat between Sir Colam and Gotlieb for

[Illustration: Dupath Well]

the love of a lady; Gotlieb was killed, and Sir Colam died of his wounds.


Near the edge of the cliff, on the right bank of the stream, close to the church, is the ruin of the ancient baptistery or Well of St, Levan, who, according to the legend, supported himself by fishing. He caught only one fish a day. But once, when his sister and his child came to visit him, after catching a chad, which he thought not dainty enough to entertain them, he threw it again [28] into the sea. The same fish was caught three times, and at last the saint accepted it, cooked and placed it before his guests, when the child was choked by the first mouthful, and St. Levan saw in the accident a punishment for his dissatisfaction with the fish

[Illustration: St. Levan.]

which Providence had sent him. The chad is still called here "chack-cheeld"--choke-child. The chapel has disappeared.


Dozmare Pool (pronounced Dosmery)--i.e., Dos, a drop; Mor and Mari, the sea, from the old tradition that it was tidal--890 feet above the sea, a melancholy sheet of water, about one mile in circumference, and from 4 to 5 feet in depth. The lofty hill called Brown Willy, is the mark by which the traveller can direct his course. On the north side of the hill are the remains of an ancient village, probably of tinners or streamers, as they are locally called. Below this the pool is situated, on a tableland which borders the deep vale of the Fowey. The pool is the theme of many a marvellous tale, in which the peasants most implicitly believe. It is said to be unfathomable, and the resort of evil spirits. Begirt by dreary hills, it presents an aspect of utter gloom and desolation, and is said to have supplied some features for the "middle meer" in the Laureate's "Morte d'Arthur," into which Sir Bedivere at last flung Excalibur, having twice before concealed the "great brand"


There in the many-knotted waterflags
That whistled stiff and dry about the marge.

The country people represent the pool as haunted by an unearthly visitant, a grim giant of the name of Tregeagle, who, it is said, may be heard howling here when wintry storms sweep the moors. He is condemned to the melancholy task of emptying the pool with a limpet-shell, and is continually howling in despair at the hope-lessness of his labour. Occasionally, too, it is said this miserable monster is hunted by the devil round and about the tarn, when he flies to the Roche Rocks, some 15 miles distant, and, by thrusting his head in at the chapel window, finds a respite from his torments. Other versions of the legend place Tregeagle on the coast near Padstow, where he is condemned to make trusses of sand and ropes of sand to bind them; or at the mouth of the estuary at Helston, across which he was condemned to carry sacks of sand until the beach should be clean of the rocks.

The story of Tregeagle, however, with his endless labour, has been connected in Cornwall with a real person, the dishonest steward of Lord Robartes at Lanhydrock (where a room in the house is still called Tregeagle's), who maltreated the tenants under his charge, and amassed money sufficient to purchase the estate of Trevorder, in St. Breock, where he distinguished himself as a harsh and arbitrary magistrate.


St. Neot's Well, not far west from the church, was arched over in granite by the late General Carlyon, the old arched covering), having fallen in many years ago. St. Neot, said to have been learned, eloquent, and intelligent, was a monk of Glastonbury, and supposed to have been brother to Alfred the Great, contemporary with St. Dunstan ; he died 8go. Many sought his prayers, either for relief of their infirmities, or for spiritual comfort. Wearied of his fame he retired to his hermitage here, with one attendant, Barius. It was in this well that he stood up to his chin daily, and chanted the Psalter throughout.

Many are the wild tales of his miraculous performances at his "holy well," which an angel stocked with fish as food for St. Neot, but on condition that he took only one for his daily meal. The stock consisted but of two--some accounts say three--but of two for ever, like a guinea in a fairy purse. It happened, however, [30] that the saint fell sick and became dainty in his appetite; and his servant, Barius by name, in his eagerness to please his master, cooked the two, boiling the one and broiling the other. Great was the consternation of St. Neot; but, recovering his presence of mind, he ordered the fish to be thrown back into the spring, and falling on his knees, most humbly sought forgiveness. The servant returned, declaring that the fish were alive and sporting in the water, and when the proper meal bad been prepared, the saint on tasting it was instantly restored to health. Some fox-hunters one day entered the wood, the retreat of the saint, who fled, and lost his shoe in his hurry; the fox stole it, and was in consequence cast into a deep sleep, and died. At another time St. Neot was praying at this well, when a hunted deer sought protection by his side. On the arrival of the dogs the saint reproved them, and, behold ! they crouched at his feet, whilst the huntsman, affected by the miracle, renounced the world, and hung up his bugle-horn in the cloister. Again, the oxen belonging to the saint had been stolen, and wild deer came of their own accord to replace them, and returned to their woods at night, until the stolen bullocks were restored. When the thieves beheld St. Neot ploughing with his stags they were conscience-stricken, and returned what they had stolen. Such stories as these are represented in the stained-glass window, c. I500-1530, and many more may be gathered from the country people, who affirm that the church was built by night, and the materials brought together by teams of two deer and one hare. They also show in the churchyard the stone on which the saint used to stand to throw the key into the keyhole, which had been accidentally placed too high. (St. Neot was of small stature, and either this lock or another was in the habit of descending, so that his hand could reach it.)

The first three mornings in May are those on which patients should visit this well. The old name of the parish was Neotstow, and it is said to have been in a church on this site that King Alfred was praying (during a hunting expedition into Cornwall) when a change took place in his life.


This well is situated in a valley near a farm called "Chapel," close to Camelford. It is, or was, visited by sufferers from in-


[Illustration: St. Breward's Well.]

flamed eyes and other complaints. As an offering, the sufferer threw in a pin, or small coin, to the saint.--Western Antiquary, 37.


In former days "Our Lady of Nantswell," in St. Colan's parish, near St. Columb Major, was resorted to by men, women, and children, to foreknow of the Lady of the Well, on Palm Sunday, what should befall them that year. These pilgrims bore a palm cross in one hand and an offering in the other. The offering fell to the priest's share: the cross was thrown into the well, and if it [32] swam was regarded as an omen that the person who threw it would outlive the year; if, however, it sank, a shortly ensuing death was foreboded.


On the 1st of May, a species of festivity, Hitchins tells us, was observed in his time at Padstow: called the Hobby-horse, from the figure of a horse being carried through the streets. Men, women, and children flocked round it, when they proceeded to a place called Traitor Pool, about a quarter of a mile distant, in which the hobby-horse was always supposed to drink. The head, after being dipped into the water, was instantly taken out, and the mud and water were sprinkled on the spectators, to the no small diversion of all. On returning home a particular song was sung, which was supposed to commemorate the event that gave the hobby-horse birth. According to tradition the French once upon a time effected a landing at a small cove in the vicinity, but seeing at a distance a number of women dressed in red cloaks, whom they mistook for soldiers, they fled to their ships and put to sea. The day generally ended in riot and dissipation.


The well is about a quarter of a mile from Grade Church, rudely built of granite. Its water is used for all baptisms in the church. St. Rumon is believed to have come as a missionary from Ireland in the ninth or tenth century, and to have dwelt in a

[Illustration: St. Ruan's Well.]

wood near Grade Church and the Lizard Point, having a cell and chapel, and regardless of the wild beasts which then roamed there. His name excited such reverence, that his remains were removed to Tavistock Abbey.


[Illustration:  Cardinam Holy Well, view and plan]

Cardinham, near Bodmin, has near the church its sacred well the corner of a walled space about 80 feet by 42 feet; the [34] water runs out into the road. The well (A) is walled in and roofed over, and has an oratory (B) adjoining it, 14 feet by 8 feet.--E. Ashworth, "Holy Wells," paper on, p. 145.


This well is in the parish of Ludgvan. It was sacred before the saints.--Polwhele's History of Cornwall.


In this parish (St. Cuthbert) is that famous and well-known spring of water, called Holy Well, so named, the inhabitants say, for that the virtues of this water were first discovered on All Hallow's Day. The same stands in a dark cavern of the sea cliff rocks, beneath full sea-mark on spring tides. The virtues of the waters are, if taken inward, a notable vomit, or as a purgent. If applied outward, it presently strikes in, or dries up, all itch, scurf, dandriff, and such-like distempers in men or women. Numbers of persons in summer season frequent this place and waters from countries far distant. It is a petrifying well.--Ibid., 53.


There is a hollow in the rock on the coast south of Creek which at high-tide is always filled by the salt water, but at low-tide the water is always fresh; it is said to have the power of curing diseases. The dropping water forms a stalagmite.--Ibid., I47n.


The chapel of this well is in the grounds of Mount Edgecumbe. It is a ruined cell, 6 feet by 41 feet. It had an arched roof, with a central rib, part of which remains; opposite the doorway is a niche. The water now supplies a cattle trough.--Ashford, 147.


There is a spring in St. Minver, near Wadebridge, still in some repute for curing disorders of the eye.--Ibid., 147.


[Illustration: Jesus Well at St. Minver.]

Here also is a well, or spring, known as JESUS WELL, to which children suffering from the whooping-cough are brought.--Ibid. 147.


In the village is a little baptistry, with a granite roof and sides.

[Illustration: Luxulion]


Between Duloe and the village of Sand-place, on the canal, is a celebrated spring sacred to St. Cuby--believed to be St. Cuthbert--and commonly called St. Kilby's.


[Illustration:  Well of St. Cranhocus. Cranstock.]


There is a well here, an illustration of which is given below.

[Illustration: Well in the court of Rialton Priory (with niche at back of the well).]



Near to Chapel Comb, Maclean tells us, is St. Agnes' Well, about which miraculous stories are told [Parochial History of Cornwall, p. 8]; but what these stories were, or where they are to be found, is not stated.

[Illustration: St. Dominick's Well.]


This well is situated between Chapel Farm and the Tamar.--Ashford, 147.



Gilbert mentions this well at the west of Cranstock, near the ruins of a college, buried by the blown sand from Grannel Creek.