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The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map : Index >> Portal Talking Shop >> Davidstow Holy Well, Cornwall
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AuthorDavidstow Holy Well, Cornwall
rhinestonemaiden



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05-11-2003


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from London

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 Posted 10-08-2004 at 19:32   
Could anyone tell me more about this beautiful but rather neglected site? The well has no water, just mud at the bottom, there is a pretty stone stile to climb to get to the Well, but the owner has put barbed wire over the stile on his side. The wild green growth over the structure is probably damaging it, the owner does not seem to care. I read on the internet that Davidstow Cheese Farm has been using the spring water since the war. Now they have been taken over by Dairy Crest. They won the award for Best Cheddar in the National Cheese Competition a couple of years ago and a lot is produced and distributed to supermarkets. They say that the spring feeding this well will never run out, maybe not, but it does not reach the Holy Well any more. Is it because the mud needs removing or is the spring water all being diverted to the cheese farm? Is it the cheese farm that owns the land in which the Well is situated? I would love to know the answers.




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enkidu41



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 Posted 10-08-2004 at 20:00   
The only information I've come across is that given by Cheryl Straffon in her book Fentynyow Kernow. I quote, "The well was restored in the 19th century (with stones taken from the holy well of St. Austen nearby at Lesneweth!) and is a solid structure with a large stone surround, and a great oak door, above which grows an old thorn tree." Perhaps you could write direct to Cheryl to obtain further information. She is always approachable and helpful.





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Thorgrim



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 Posted 10-08-2004 at 20:20   
It was crystal clear when I was there earlier this year - see our site entry. I have sent an email to Dairy Crest expressing our concern and asking for a response. Another approach would be to inform the Environment Agency. Footpaths must not be blocked with barbed wire. The well may dry up and become muddy in August after a dry spell and only flow clear at other times of the year.




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Thorgrim



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 Posted 10-08-2004 at 20:29   
copy of email to dairy crest sent today

[email protected]
Am I correct in my understanding that Dairy Crest has now taken over and manufactures the excellent Davidstow Cheese?

Concern has been expressed that access to the Davidstow Well has been blocked with barbed wire, the area become unkempt and the clean well water become mud. Is the well on your land and if so may I ask you to remedy the situation. The matter has been raised on the Megalithic Portal website and your response can be published there if you wish.

Thank you




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ocifant



Joined:
13-10-2002


Messages: 195
from West Cornwall

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 Posted 12-08-2004 at 22:18   
The Quiller-Couch booklet 'Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall' (1894) has very little to say, although it does mention that despite recent restoration, "the well is to an extent overgrown with rushes and reeds". It also states that the water has no particuler vitrues ascribed to it, nor is there any legend or tradition belonging to the well.

I'll be interested in any reply from the Dairy. Maybe we can put some pressure on...




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Thorgrim



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 Posted 13-08-2004 at 12:04   
Dairy Crest run around!!

Two attempts at emailing the above resulted in automatic bounce backs. Several phone calls to various Dairy Crest offices resulted in comments like "I never knew we had an email address" I did say that they were not likely to get any customer comments if their email address didn't work! Finally got through to Head Office at 11372 472200 (please ring and make a nuisance of yourselves too) They put me through to their Davidstow factory, but "the man you want is in a meeting". I got his email address from the telephone operator and will try him. You might want to follow up depending on his response. Watch this space!




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Thorgrim



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 Posted 13-08-2004 at 15:50   
I received this courteous reply from Dairy Crest at Davidstow and want to thank Mr Wren for his kind attention to our enquiry. It would seem likely that it is low rainfall causing the problem of lack of water, but the matter of the blocked footpath remains an issue.

"Yes indeed Dairy Crest does manufacture Davidstow cheese at our plant here
near Camelford as we have done since taking over the plant in 1979.

I have visited the web site you mention and note that it refers to the
Davidstow Holy well which is not on our property.
We do extract water near the well but it is from a leat further into the
field.

My belief is that the well is part of the church but this would need to be
verified.

I have checked both the well and our leat today and note that both are
nearly dry and muddy.
Both ,of course ,rely on rain water and it is not uncommon ,in our
experience, for them to dry in the summer months."

It would seem likely that it is low rainfall causing the problem of lack of water, but the matter of the blocked footpath remains an issue. Perhaps any local members could take a look at the footpath and query it with the church or parish council.






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ocifant



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from West Cornwall

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 Posted 13-08-2004 at 21:10   
I'll be in Penwith in a couple of weeks time, but just for the weekend. Not sure if I'll have time to fit in a trip up to Camelford, but I'll try.




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