Thursday 21 February 2019

The Cornish Holy Well at St. Cleer - and a Cure for Madness

The Holy Well of St.Cleer, Cornwall

While near the village of St.Cleer I looked in on their Holy Well. It is said to go back to the 15th century. It was then used as a magic 'bowsening' pool. So called because 'mad people' would be dunked into the waters to cure their insanity!

I say the well is 15th century, but it was knocked down during the English Civil War - 1642 to 1651. The Cornish granite stones though remained in place. It was said that if any of them were ever moved or stolen they would find their own way back ... creepy!


In the 1800s the jigsaw that was the Holy Well was put together again - as it remains today.


Front view of the Holy Well at St.Cleer, Cornwall

Next to the well is an ancient 7 foot tall cross. There are several variations as to whom the St. Cleer well is dedicated. One version is St.Clarus, a 12th century Benedictine monk. He landed himself in  bit of bother when a noblewoman made romantic advances to him - which, of course, he turned down.  But the result of this was that he was beheaded - though some versions of the story say he fled to France.

It's not known who the monk like figure is in the niche at the front of the well.


The mysterious monk in the niche of the Holy Well

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