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| St Indract's Well |
[426 x 750 jpg]
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|Description ||St. Indract’s is certainly off the beaten track, which isn’t necessarily a reason to not to make the effort. Seeking out such “secret shrines” has taken me to lovely places I would not otherwise have had the motivation to visit, like here, by the banks of the Tamar. |
This Holy Well has a conscientious guardian who appeared to be expecting us. He was already striding up from the river as we approached. After we all made conversation he respectfully withdrew back to the waterside.
He drew our attention to what he called the blacksmith’s anomaly. The iron gate appears to honour the Christian tradition by way of a decorative cruciform design but if you examine the gate’s catch you get a sense of a degree of ambivalence by this craftsperson. The handle takes the form of a devil or dragon’s tail. The guardian also mentioned that just beyond living memory a trout was kept in the well in order to keep the waters clear. There are many sacred wells that have housed fish. An angel put three regenerating fish into St. Neot’s well for his measured consumption. Standing in St. Cybi’s Holy Well in Llangybi, in Wales, only if the resident eel hugged your legs could you count on a healing. St. Indract’s poor lonely trout’s purpose seemed to be more prosaic. Our piscine janitor was there to eat up trespassing grubs and insects.
There have been reports that the well was now dry. I forgot to ask the guardian if the waters did ever falter; a defining feature of a fully functioning Holy Well is that it never fails whatever the season or weather. Certainly when I visited St, Indract’s the basin of the structure had an ample supply of water.
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