Celtic GlorySpiritual

Sisters' Fountain

Sisters' Fountain, Exmoor

This lovely spring and well head is hidden on the steeply wooded slopes of Glenthorne on Exmoor's coastline. Accessed from the County Gate carpark, marking the boundary of Devon with Somerset, it's a very steep clamber down to the spring. Whilst just a few feet from the coast path towards Lynton, most walkers don't stop to visit the site or really notice it.

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The fountain is named after the two nieces of a Glenthorne landowner who enjoyed playing here. He built the well house surrounding the spring but it existed well before this time and has a remarkable legend attached to it. Bear in mind that this spring is literally in the middle of nowhere and always has been isolated. It has never had a settlement nearby, so it is noticeable that it is even known about.

The legend tells that Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus were walking along the path when they were thirsty. Joseph apparently struck the rock and water gushed out. Such tales abound around holy wells and there's no way of knowing the substance behind it. Likewise whether Jesus and Joseph did actually pass this way. However, there are several other instances of their mention in the south west. Ones which immediately come to mind are Jesus Well, Cornwall; Looe Island, Cornwall and Glastonbury in Somerset. 

Sisters fountain4

The spring is worth visiting. We stopped to pray and found ourselves singing, 'How Great Thou Art'. Birds started joining in as we worshipped, which has happened at other wells, particular with wrens. We visited on a Good Friday and I found the sadness of the day, the weight of various burdens quite heavy. I sensed God inviting me to let the burdens roll off and wash away, just as the water was gushing rapidly down hill towards the sea. Suddenly I felt God's arms come right around me from behind and the reassurance as He was saying, 'I've got you'. Such relief flooded through me.

This feels like a secluded meeting place for God's people, a place of sanctuary, hidden from the hustle and bustle and it was as though Jesus was saying, 'I know this place', in the sense that He had visited and passed by.

There is a sense of peace, of life and of hope over the little valley and an invitation to trust God at a deeper level.

So if you are walking the coast path from Porlock to Lynton look out for Sisters' Fountain after you've visited Culbone Chapel and enjoy some fellowship with the Lord.