Our reward was this: a path leading into an enchanted forest, or so it seemed. Moss on branches, blue hydrangeas overhanging, the sense that there could easily be little people watching from under rocks and leaves.
Ribbons and strips of cloth (called clouties) hang from the trees branches. These are left as part of healing rituals performed by visitors to the well. We did not need to do a healing ritual. Just seeing this haunting place was healing enough. And I have to agree with the Cornish Witchcraft site, these additions can overwhelm the peace and otherwordliness of these places.
Wikipedia has the following quote about this well:
West of the settlement are a pair of ancient wells. One is mentioned in The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England of 1893 where William Borlase states (writing in the 1750s):Widdershynnes, of course, means counter-clockwise, so they were dipped three times in the well, as the dipper calked counter-clockwise, and then dragged around it as well. Poor little babies. If they survived that treatment they were probably pretty hardy anyway.
There is a grate over the well now, to protect people from falling in or desecrating it. We did not look to see if this could be removed.
By now it was really raining hard. Up ahead I saw a building. "We can stand in the overhang here to get out of the rain," I said. But what was this? An OPEN sign? Way out here??
Why, yes it was. We had stumbled onto an artist's studio, accessible, apparently, only from the way we had come.
We walked around carefully, trying not to track up the floors. Such beautiful works, well beyond our means but what a privilege to see them in this remote, quiet place.
A nearby house seemed occupied, but no one came out to the studio/gallery while we were there. A sign asked that we "turn out the lights and pull the door to" when we left. What an amazing place.
I later learned that this is part of the Open StudioCornwall series.
This is his "Are you coming?" look. Yes, wet through and cold, I was right behind him.
And back out the twisting lane we went, through farmyards and hedges, to find a place to get some hot tea and coffee.
Next post: Land's End, and beyond.
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