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Discussion => Main discussion => Topic started by: that guy on Thursday 15 October 2015, 1949

Title: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 15 October 2015, 1949
As titled.
I'll start with:

1.  Fynnon Gybi.  Legend states that on landing from Ireland, Saint Cybi struck the ground with his staff and a spring sprang forth.  This became a healing well used by people suffering from scrofula and arthritis.

A sacred eel lived in the well that had the power to mediate with St. Cybi himself.  The water was so powerful that it had a collection of wheelbarrows and crutches cast off near it by those it had cured.  It was also a well for curses and revenge while also offering comfort to those thwarted in love.

[Edit 1:- to curse someone you merely had to write their name on a piece of paper and conceal under on of the stones of the well.
Edit 2:- to discover the intentions of your beloved a rag, handkerchief or feather was placed upon the water, should it float south true love was indicated, but should it float north matters boded ill.  Source J. Jones [Myrddin Fard] Arch. Camb. 1904 pg 113- 114.]

It was a very dependable well yielding a seemingly never ending supply of clean water to the locals for centuries.

A map dated 1873 shows a piece of land named Cae Fynnon Cybi a little behind the modern Post Office, near Strydd Cybi and Well Street.  This network of streets grew up around the well in the nineteenth century.

The well can be identified with a structure in the grounds of Rosemount depicted by the OS 1st edition 1:500 Town Plan of 1888/9. This is a square feature, roughly 1.2m across, apparently approach by a flight of four steps on the south-east and three on the south-west. In 1908 a pump was placed over it [Ysten Duw i estyn dwr].  The name Pump Street was given to another street that led to the well.

It is now concealed below or close to, Church House.

I'll do another one as soon as I get more time.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Baz on Thursday 15 October 2015, 2137
Very interesting TG. Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I look forward to seeing the rest - whenever you get the time  ;)

Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Rascal on Thursday 15 October 2015, 2137
Excellent TG
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 15 October 2015, 2206
Next, a personal favourite of mine.

2.  Golochwyd/Lochwyd

Located at the bottom of a steep cleft leading from the slopes of Mynydd Twr to the sea in Gogarth Bay.

This is an ancient well that probably sustained the Celtic peoples in the fort at the top of Mynydd Twr.   Reputedly the Romans had a temple down here and a small golden statue of a female goddess with one arm was found.

A Christian hermit built his cell at the top of the gorge which later became a chapel of ease known as Capel Llochwyd.  Its waters could grant personal wishes.  On St. Cybiís day [24th. July according to William Morris or 5th. November according to the modern Welsh church] the young men and ladies of Holyhead would race down to the well and back.  They had to clamber back up the gorge with a mouthful of water and two handfuls of gravel without losing either, depositing the gravel and spitting out the water onto the altar of the church.  The winner would be married within the year.

A Reverend Ellis in about 1770 [he was described by Edward Owen in a magazine dated about 1895 as a halfwit!] contemptuous of pagan practices and popery reduced the old chapel to ruins and filled the well in with rocks and stones.  It was uncovered again in about 1830 and the water ran fresh and pure, but has since been filled in and can no longer be seen.

The Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Anglesey 1937 notes ďthe well at the bottom of the Ö cleft is now obliterated.Ē

There is a marvellous newspaper report from the late 1800ís of two boys who nearly came to grief here but managed to save each other after many hours of desperate climbing and struggling, I will transpose that when I when find it later.

I have tried several times to make it to the bottom of the gorge, getting further down each time, but Iím afraid of heights, there is no mobile phone reception and I get disapproving looks when I tell my wife if I donít come back by teatime tell the emergency services Iím scrambling in Gogarth Bay!

Edit:- There is no record of a personal name like Llochwydd, so this well is not named for a Celtic saint, but Francis Jones in her book "The Holy Wells of Wales" says it preserves in its mutated form the old Welsh word "golochwyd" meaning "a secluded place" or "retiring to pray."
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 15 October 2015, 2210
Thank you Baz and Rascal bach  :)
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 15 October 2015, 2234
http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/403437/images/AP_2005_0247.jpg (http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/403437/images/AP_2005_0247.jpg) Coflein has some wonderful aerial views of the Capel Llochwydd gorge and here's a view I've taken of the gorge which goes down very steeply and dog legs to the left.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Reenie on Friday 16 October 2015, 1008
Well, well :)
 (you see what I did there - Baz ould be proud!)

Great stuff though, love the myths surrounding our monuments and history  :D
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Friday 16 October 2015, 1929
3. Fynnon Ulo.

Sadly not much to say about this holy well, it was still in use in the 19th century but has been filled and more or less lost.  The approximate location of the well is marked on the second edition (1900) of the 25 inch OS county series map, near the supposed site of Capel Ulo, the bottom part of Cae Bog [as the name tells us!]  The Chapel itself is long gone and only remains as a memory and the name of a row of houses.

Capel Ulo, is referred to in various documentary sources. It is first mentioned as Cappel Ylo on an estate map of 1769 which shows the field divisions as they were before the new houses were built.  Next mention is in the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica (1790), which records Capel Lilio, by some called Llech Neft [Nest?], now converted into a farmhouse.

Alternative spellings abound - Capel Lilio or Ilo are also mentioned in a list of Anglesey's sites and monuments records.  It is also mentioned by H Hughes in the eighteenth century and by E.Neil Baynes (1920) in their lists of monasteries, abbeys and chapels. The exact site of the chapel is not known, although a building is shown close to Kingsland Road on the 1769 estate map.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 22 October 2015, 2004
4. Ffynnon y Gorlas [or Golles] is mentioned by Angharad Llwyd 1780 - 1866.  Her father was a close friend of Thomas Pennant.

The presumed site of Capel Gorlas, and its "famous spring" [frustratingly why it is famous I don't know, the waters probably healed the sick] can be found behind Trefonnen in Llaingoch. 

This well was never enclosed with masonry.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Che Guevaras Flip Flops on Thursday 22 October 2015, 2140
This might help you

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scheduled_Monuments_in_Anglesey
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Friday 23 October 2015, 1256
This might help you

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scheduled_Monuments_in_Anglesey

Thank you, I'm slowly working my way through that list  :)
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Shell on Saturday 24 October 2015, 2359
I'm enjoying this.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: justme on Sunday 25 October 2015, 2056
Very interesting. I love a bit of history.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Trefignath on Tuesday 27 October 2015, 1656
Keep it up as you can. Some interesting stuff here.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Thursday 29 October 2015, 1927
Thank you for the kind words.  I've added a few maps and some more details as edits.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: that guy on Friday 21 October 2016, 1235
5. Ffynnon y Wrach.  The Witches Well.

Located on the South Stack Road SW of Holyhead, below the Mountain by Twr Farm.

Not much is known about this well, other than it being one of the six holy wells of Holy Island.  Legend says it has never ran dry even when all other water sources failed, additionally it is supposed to have the sweetest water of any well on Holyhead.  I guess the water is filtered by the Mountain itself.

Nothing is known of the story behind it's unusual name, I'd love to hear if anyone knows any more about this.

Its housing has a very unusual design and construction, it looks like an observatory.  The date over the cast iron door is 1866.  The building itself is listed Grade II.  I don't know who has the key, I'd love to go inside it one day.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Jean on Saturday 22 October 2016, 1720
Something I posted ages ago on St. Seiriol and St. Cybi, and Clorach and Llanerchymedd. (http://forum.caergybi.com/index.php/topic,5984.msg240478.html#msg240478)
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Jean on Sunday 08 January 2017, 1333
... and something that's just turned up on Gutenberg. (http://forum.caergybi.com/index.php/topic,7076.0.html)
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Rascal on Wednesday 05 April 2017, 1223
There had been a well discovered in Market Hall and I was telling Mam Bach and Dad about this and they said that there used to be a well in front of the Prince of Wales pub, on Penrhos Beach Road, there was a farm there. They think the well is located under the tarmac.
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Wils on Wednesday 05 April 2017, 1331
That's an absolutely stupid place to put a well yeah.

And I've noticed no one's mentioned Wells Kelo (sic)
Title: Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
Post by: Rascal on Thursday 06 April 2017, 0027
Your wright, who would put a well under the road, maybe this guy can answer

http://www.angleseywelding.com/contact-us.php