St Euny's Holy Well, Sancreed Parish, Cornwall, England, UK
LOCATION: SW399 288
St Euny’s Well and Chapel near Carn Euny, Sancreed parish, west of Penzance, Cornwall
This site is quite hard to find as it is remote. You drive down a narrow lane from Sancreed following signs to Carn Euny and park up. Then follow the footpath ahead of you up a track until you reach some houses. There is a sign saying ‘Chapel Euny’ pointing to the right which is totally confusing as this is to a house and not the chapel! Instead you go the opposite direction to the left. Take the lower footpath which is a little wet and muddy but before very long you suddenly stumble across the well.
It’s so unexpected! I was alerted by ‘clouties’ (bits of ribbon or rag) hanging in the tree above it. Don’t be put off by the evidence of witchcraft and new age activities. This is still a holy place where God can be found.
The well itself is beautiful. Granite steps lead down to a small circular enclosure with the water at the bottom. It is beautifully crafted by stonemasons with some of the granite blocks shaped in curves and now mossed over. The spring feeds into the well and can be seen across the path to the right of it.
I sat and waited to see what God would do. There was a sense of hush in this place and even though it was a drippy mizzly day, it was a lovely feeling and presence of God. I wanted to linger. However, I very soon found myself weeping at the dishonour to Jesus that was happening in this once sacred place dedicated to Him. My heart was heavy with sadness that people have moved so far away from revering him. And then the Holy Spirit whispered that there was a ‘keeper of the well’, an angel of God guarding it. As soon as I heard that I was aware the angel was now speaking to me.
‘Welcome children of God. I am entrusted to keep God’s holy well in the Spirit. The adversary tries to pollute but I guard the deposit and it is rich in God’s holiness. Here the gospel was preached to the many who came. Many found Jesus as Saviour in this remote place. The thirsty were satisfied, the hungry fed, the heartsore comforted and the sick healed. The man of God laid a firm foundation. He prayed, he fasted, he sought deliverance for the afflicted never thinking of himself. He laid a foundation rich in gold of the Kingdom. Scrape away the deposit of silt of the centuries and it lies just below the surface.’
‘Speak the words of LIFE and release the River of gold once more so that those who come thinking they have found the way will encounter The Way, The Truth and The Life, eternal life. Speak the words of life daughter and release the River of gold’.
In obedience to the angel’s directions I began to declare the release of life. It was very interesting what happened to our dog as I did this. She suddenly started running for sheer joy twice around the enclosure and then just as I was beginning to declare life, she plunged into the well, digging away under the water. She came up covered in mucky silt with a glass bottle in her mouth which we removed from the well. We watched as the water behind her started swirling in a clockwise direction. She then dived in again and came up totally clean, no silt, no mud, no muck! It was such a prophetic picture of the silt deposits which the angel talked about being cleared away.
We hunted for the ruins of St Euny’s chapel but despite there still being a chapel there in 1830 we couldn’t find any evidence of it today, except perhaps some ancient stone steps, but suspect it’s where the main cloutie tree is. A man we met suggested the stone had been used in building the house now named Chapel Euny.
Carn Euny settlement is very close to the well and may have been inhabited at the time when the Celtic saint was living. It's worth visiting, as much as been excavated and the enclosure gives an idea of what life would have been like in those times. We went on a very wet, mizzly, foggy day and the whole place was very atmospheric. It's hard to believe how difficult life must have been for the people who lived here.
Euny himself appears to have been the brother of St Ia, an Irish princess who founded St Ives. His main missionary activities were around Lelant but he is also associated with Penwith.