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Author Topic: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island  (Read 1560 times)

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Offline that guy

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The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« 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.
« Last Edit: Thursday 29 October 2015, 1858 by that guy »

Offline Baz

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #1 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  ;)


Offline Rascal

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 15 October 2015, 2137 »
Excellent TG
IT IS RASCALS BIRTHDAY BEFORE MONKEY FIDDLERS!!! STILL!!!      
Oooh, it's all "Wils, Wils, Wils!"
Rascal bach, you have no idea how hard I'm laughing at your last post.  You are so funny.
I think Rascal should apologise for Wils - seriously!

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #3 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."
« Last Edit: Thursday 29 October 2015, 1843 by that guy »

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 15 October 2015, 2210 »
Thank you Baz and Rascal bach  :)

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 15 October 2015, 2234 »
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.
« Last Edit: Thursday 15 October 2015, 2238 by that guy »

Offline Reenie

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #6 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
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #7 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.
« Last Edit: Friday 16 October 2015, 1935 by that guy »

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Che Guevaras Flip Flops

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Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #10 on: Friday 23 October 2015, 1256 »

Offline Shell

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 24 October 2015, 2359 »
I'm enjoying this.

Offline justme

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #12 on: Sunday 25 October 2015, 2056 »
Very interesting. I love a bit of history.

Offline Trefignath

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 27 October 2015, 1656 »
Keep it up as you can. Some interesting stuff here.
Not waiting for the others.

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 29 October 2015, 1927 »
Thank you for the kind words.  I've added a few maps and some more details as edits.

Offline that guy

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #15 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.
« Last Edit: Friday 21 October 2016, 1245 by that guy »

Offline Jean

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #16 on: Saturday 22 October 2016, 1720 »
Something I posted ages ago on St. Seiriol and St. Cybi, and Clorach and Llanerchymedd.

Offline Jean

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #17 on: Sunday 08 January 2017, 1333 »
... and something that's just turned up on Gutenberg.

Offline Rascal

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #18 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.
IT IS RASCALS BIRTHDAY BEFORE MONKEY FIDDLERS!!! STILL!!!      
Oooh, it's all "Wils, Wils, Wils!"
Rascal bach, you have no idea how hard I'm laughing at your last post.  You are so funny.
I think Rascal should apologise for Wils - seriously!

Offline Wils

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #19 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)
Even now
My thought is clinging as to a lost learning
Slipped down out of the minds of men,
Labouring to bring her back into my soul.

Offline Rascal

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Re: The Six Holy Wells of Holyhead Island
« Reply #20 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
IT IS RASCALS BIRTHDAY BEFORE MONKEY FIDDLERS!!! STILL!!!      
Oooh, it's all "Wils, Wils, Wils!"
Rascal bach, you have no idea how hard I'm laughing at your last post.  You are so funny.
I think Rascal should apologise for Wils - seriously!