St Cleer Holy Well, St Cleer, Cornwall
Location: SX249 683 St Cleer, near Liskeard in East Cornwall
The well house of St Clare's holy well is one of the most elaborate I've seen and the only one of its kind in Cornwall. Arched and columned it is built of granite blocks and is quite beautiful. It's been renovated over the years and was a virtual ruin in the early 1800s, yet it appears many original granites were used in the current construction.
It is set in a small enclosure accessed through an iron gate. An inner low wall contains the well which has an iron grid over the water sadly. However, you can sit on the walls within the wellhouse and it's a peaceful, calm place to pray and meditate. Whilst not as private as many wells in the countryside, this well still retains a holy atmosphere and felt precious.
An oak overshadows the wellhouse with its branches and there are many oak saplings growing in the outer enclosure, which in itself felt prophetic. I didn't sense anything particularly here except the peaceful presence of God but perhaps the lack of privacy inhibited me from going deeper.
I would still highly recommend a visit.
St Clare preached on the edge of Bodmin Moor in the 8th century and was celibate. He had a holy well and two Celtic crosses. The local chieftainess fell in love with him and pestered him so much he fled to France where he lived in an isolated hermitage. The angry woman pursued him and had him murdered. However, other accounts have the genders reversed, the truth being lost in the mists of time and hagiography. The well itself was known for healing those with mental illnesses. Perhaps this was St Clare's anointing.