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 Post subject: Ffynnon Gwenfaen Sant
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:09 pm 
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Ffynnon Gwenfaen Sant is Sunken Well of uncertain date. There isn't much on the internet about this well but here's a link to an entry I've made on its location in a route sharing site:
http://www.sanoodi.com/route/gallusimpudicus/78991/borth-wen-to-y-ffynnon-gwenfaen-sant/
I've popped a link in the comments section on this page to a local council website that has a nice photo.
The tradition is that Saint Gwenfaen can cure mental health problems if you bring with you two quartz pebbles to deposit in the well.
A nice little structure with four simple seats in each corner and an amazing view over the Irish Sea!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:17 pm 
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Very very nice well structure. Reminds me a lot of baptistry buildings with the outer chamber that often held stone benches, and an inner chamber with the water source. The use of quartz pebbles at this site for healing is an interesting association too. Sure it is not unique, but cant think of another instance of such a deposit this second.


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 Post subject: Ffynnon Gwenfaen Sant
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:12 am 
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Location: Harbledown nr Canterbury
Went to this well on archaeology field trip while an undergrad at Bangor, in 1995. Pictures of the printed kind and now lost due to that messy business called Life. The well is near Rhoscolyn, Holy Island, Anglesey (Ynys Mon) and in a breathtaking location. The cliffs all around are made of this amazing metamorphosed sandstone which is like orange and pink glass. There's a picture here, though I'm sure Paul will do better: http://www.angleseyheritage.org/doc.asp?cat=1059

See walk no 10 here:
http://www.angleseywalkingholidays.com/eng/section.htm
(and map at top of page)

And of course Paul's route on the excellent Sanoodi.

We were told that this well was used for healing late, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and that evidence of earlier medieval usage was poor and inconclusive, with little or no sign of activity before the C12th.

The atmosphere at this site is amazing, and it is very easy to understand the association with mental health. Just being there is VERY uplifting and the air is amazingly fresh. If we rated for ambience, like the Megalithic Portal, then this site would be right off the scale.

This site is well worth a visit, and is most certainly worth further research.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:39 am
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Location: Harbledown nr Canterbury
rik_na1 wrote:
Very very nice well structure. Reminds me a lot of baptistry buildings with the outer chamber that often held stone benches, and an inner chamber with the water source. The use of quartz pebbles at this site for healing is an interesting association too. Sure it is not unique, but cant think of another instance of such a deposit this second.


Remembers something imperfectly about St Columba, a Pictish King - Brude I think, an underground chamber, human sacrifices, and the Loch Ness monster - the conversion narrative of the monarch in question - in which floating quartz pebbles play an important role. The tale is in Adamnan's 'Life of Columba' and I think that it is also mentioned in the Annals of the Pictish Kings.

Here is an article with some details of the story:
http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook ... 21p043.htm

This also deals with the finding of quartz pebbles at a number of prehistoric and possibly early Christian sites in Britain. The argument is that both Columba and Broichan the Druid would have been familiar with the folklore/alleged religious/medicinal properties of white stones, and that Columba's actions in this story therefore had a well established context of tradition. In short, he knew that use of a quartz pebble would be an effective way to manipulate the Druid.


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