Friday 4 March 2022

Cornwall's Menacuddle Holy Well and Chapel Plus a Strange Story

I have previously published posts about Menacuddle, with its Holy Well and Georgian Chapel, but I make no apologies for publishing a further post. The area is a bit special. Not just the well but also the river and gardens, which alter throughout the seasons. There is definitely a touch of magic and mystery in the air.

The photos are my own, but let's go back to the 1800's. This is how the well was then described:
About half a mile from St. Austell there is an enclosed well of remarkably pure water known as Menacuddle Well i.e. maen-a-coed, the hawk's stone; and also the remains of its little chapel of bapistry.

The chapel is 11 feet long, 9 feet wide. There are north and south doorways. The spring rises on the east side and the basin is divided by a stone bar.

It's romantic situation moved visitors more than any idea 0f the water.

The well is also a wishing well. It lies at the foot of Menacuddle Grove, surrounded with romantic scenery and covered with an ancient Gothic Chapel.

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 excellence of its stream.

Weak children have frequently been carried here to be bathed; ulcers have also been bathed here. 

People in a season of sickness have been recommended by neighbouring matrons to drink this salubrious fluid. In most cases instances may be procured of benefits received from the application.

Kindly note, I would not recommend drinking the water ~ Mike.

While I was doing some research I came across a completely different side to Menacuddle :

"Menacuddle Well woods, in St Austell, Cornwall, are renowned for having a supernatural presence - including a terrifying black beast."

Gulp! I'd never heard this before. Surely it can't be true.

From more research I found the following beast story, which seems to have come to light in 2016.  An Express headline stated: 
The grisley remains of a centuries old corpse has been discovered in a creepy British woodland - which locals believe is haunted by a huge black beast!

A local councillor is quoted as saying, "Be careful. I have seen it. It's not a dog or a cat."

Think that deserves another gulp!

The story is that the corpse is probably about 300 years old. Back then people were sometimes buried in slate coffins - this is in the 1700s and 1800s.

A local councillor explained how it is believed that the coffin was left near the well, by the grieving family members, who hoped the well's powers would restore him to life.

All in all an interesting story, what with the supposed beast and the skull - but I have always felt quite happy to wander by the well and through the Menacuddle gardens. 

Mind you, though, I remember seeing something black and beast like ... okay, okay it was only my son's black cat.

Thanks for visiting my blog, have a good week ~ Mike.
Here are three more of my Menacuddle Posts:


  1. It's a lovely, area as are your photo's which illustrate the story well. It is only a story isn't it Mike? 😮. Great photo of the cat, now that scares me! 😃. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. I hadn't heard tales of the Menacuddle beast until I came across the report in a 2016 Express. Hopefully a good day today, blue sky and sunshine at the moment. Enjoy your weekend too.

  2. Now that’s an interesting tale! It would give me pause if I was wandering around there at night. I always enjoy whatever stories are associated with a special area, and this one doesn’t diminish the beauty of the place. It is lovely, you’ve photographed it beautifully and the history is also quite interesting. Best wishes and be careful out there just in case!

    1. Thanks Ann, it is certainly a magical area, at least to my mind. The gardens are looked after by volunteers and they do an excellent job. All good wishes.

  3. Oooooooh, what a brilliantly weird story Mike! Maybe it is a relation of the Beast of Bodmin :0 (your son's cat is most certainly related too). The well, chapel and woodlands look very beautiful. I will refrain from drinking the well water though, thank you ;) x

    1. Are yes, could be a relative of the Beast of Bodmin, may well have wandered over to Menacuddle on an outing! A relative of my wife visited us from Germany and she took home a large bottle of the water - I pesume she got it through customs okay. Have a good week.




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