Monday, April 14, 2014

St. Keyne's Well.

St.Keynes Well;  We only saw two wells.  How many 'saint' wells does Cornwall have? too many to number, and most of these saints have perambulated down from Wales, I expect by sea in little boats. St.Keyne is also to be found in Keynsham in Somerset, here she banishes serpents, having arrived in this town from Wales.  She was a 'pious' virgin, and the daughter of King Brychan, a king who had many children. To find this well which   is not far from the stone circle of Duloe, we travelled down a little lane out of the village of St.Keyne, into one of those beautiful wooded valleys. The well is situated by the side of the road, the water trickling down the bank across the lane into the hollow created.  The entrance stones are green mossed and there were painted eggs hidden in the undergrowth for the celebration of Easter. St.Keyne in Cornwall has another legend to her name, and a wise girl should takes a bottle of the well water to drink at the church before her marriage! 
The plaque next to the well describes the spell which Saint Keyne cast upon the water of the well. The plaque reads: "The legend of Saint Keyne Well. Saint Keyne was a princess who lived about 600 AD. She laid on the waters of this well a spell thus described by Carew in 1602 AD—'The quality that man or wife whom chance or choice attains first of this sacred spring to drink thereby the mastery gains.'"
Robert Southey's poem "The Well of St Keyne" recounts this legend.

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