Egloskerry Holy Well, Cornwall
OS map reference SX 2717 8653
Egloskerry is a pretty Cornish village with the church central and a holy well a short walk away to the south. We visited the church first and found it very easy to enter into high praise and deep worship. There was a really special presence of God. There are some beautiful depictions of angels in the stained glass and whilst praying I sensed an angel come up behind me and put a robe over my shoulders as I knelt. I went into a deep place of rest and peace. I became acutely aware of burdens I was carrying inside which I needed to relinquish to God and lay down. With this came the weighty peace. It’s definitely a place to linger.
The church is dedicated to St Kerry and St Petroc. Rosie Jones says in ‘St Curig, Travels in Celtic lands’, 'Eglos Kerry' translates from the Cornish as 'Kerry's Church'. The name of the village is ancient, and implies that there was a Celtic place of worship from very early times. It is dedicated to St Kerry/Keri and St Petroc. This Saint Keri is believed to be one of the twenty four sons or daughters of St Brychan, who gave his name to Brecon and the Beacons.…..As we cannot reliably trace St Curig from before his arrival at Aberystwyth, we do not know if they are the same person, but it is not impossible in terms of dates and geography. If Curig is the son or protégé of King Maelgwyn of Gwynedd, and Maelgwyn endowed Brychan's monastery, there is some indication of a connection, albeit a tenuous one. However records for St Curig are vague on the idea of a Brychan connection. From Fowey and Plymouth, the trade and travel routes continued South West across the English Channel to the Breton coast. We know that Curig sailed into the sheltered bay, now known as Saint Guirec, on the Cote de Granit Rose, in the district of Finisterre (Landsend), with other monks, where he was greeted by people of the area.’ Often the Welsh spelling of a name varies from the Cornish yet they are found to be the same person.
Rosie Jones continues, ‘Travel : The Celtic Superhighway: Traders, evangelists, soldiers and all travellers made use of the sixth century "superhighways" - the seas and river systems which allowed travel by boat. The story describes the travels of Curig through Mid and South Wales, founding llans within a day or two march of the Severn estuary, crossing the estuary to Padstow in Cornwall and travelling up the River Camel, walking the short distance to the River Fowey (carrying lightweight coracles and curraghs) and descending to the coast, and then crossing the English Channel to the Brittany coast. There were a number of these established routes, their starting and finishing points depending on where the currents and winds took the travellers from their starting points in Ireland, Wales or Cornwall. The one described is that which it seems most likely that Curig took. It may not be the right one, but the idea is right. Alternatively, across South Wales for example, Curig may have taken the great Roman roads of Sarn Helen and Via Julia. But I don't think he did, so the story describes him travelling by curragh for almost all of his journeys.’
We then went to find the holy well which is in a field opposite the church. However, houses have now been built so it’s a circuitous route. From the church head into the parking area opposite which is surrounded by houses. There’s a footpath sign and this leads to the left of the house facing you. Follow the enclosed track to a stile. Cross into a field and immediately turn right following the hedge line back towards the church. You will see the gardens of modern houses backing onto the field. Cross the field, keeping the church on your right. The well is nestled by the hedge line ahead of you, just below the level of the field. There’s a well house and stream flowing from it. The entrance had a temporary barrier which we could remove to see into the well before replacing. The well is full water with some superficial scum but underneath was beautiful, clear water which runs out forming a small stream.
As is our way we settled to pray. I soon sense there is an angel present wearing a yellow, butter coloured garment. It’s here to minister refreshment from Jesus in answer to ancient prayers prayed on this site. I become aware of how much life is buzzing around the well with a myriad of insects stopping to drink in the well water stream. It feels like we have stepped outside of time, the scene is so unchanging. Even though there are now houses surrounding the well meadow it has retained its mystical quality.
We continue to wait and focus on Jesus. I become aware that I still need to lay down recognition from people and what they think, even about the experiences with God which I have at these holy places. Many will not understand, but I need to be content with God’s recognition and to be faithful in the hidden places with what He has asked me specifically to do. Not everyone will ‘get it’ and that’s ok. It is an unusual calling and outside many others’ experience of God. That’s why I suppose I feel I’m more a modern day Christian mystic. So in response to this revelation I pray and try to let go my need of affirmation. God whispers for me to ‘rest and trust Him’. Peace settles over me and it becomes easy to pray.
This is a place of rest for the weary traveller, the ones weary with travelling through life which can be hard in this troubled world. As I become aware that this is the anointing on this holy place I pray for it to be released once more, to spread across Cornwall and to touch many people. In my spirit’s eye I begin to see tiny rivulets of water flowing out from the well and I’m reminded of the many references to God as the source of Living Water: You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11; Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. John 4:10. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:6.