Celtic GlorySpiritual

St Mawgan well

St Mawgan's Holy Well, Cornwall


St Mawgan's holy well is in the village of St Mawgan in Pydar. It is situated just inside the lychgate of the parish church on the left. The church is in the centre of the village of St Mawgan in Cornwall, UK and adjacent to a convent called Lanherne. The well was very easy to find but despite plenty of water courses in the village, it seemed dry. There's a lovely old culvert running along the boundary of the convent and through a stone tunnel but this doesn't lead to the holy well and neither does the river.

St mawgan church

My first impression was of a neglected and rather forgotten well. It was full of dead leaves even though it was springtime when I visited and I assumed it was dry. However, we cleared away the leaves as best we could without tools and used our boots to dig out some of the mud which has silted the bottom. Then, to our surprise, water began to slowly bubble up. I'm quite sure if the silt was removed there would be water once again in the well. 

St mawgan well
St mawgan well water

The rest of the churchyard and village were beautifully kept and it made me sad that the very place where St Mawgan preached and caused the settlement to be established, is overlooked and bypassed. I sat on the wall by the well to pray and wait and listen. It was Easter Sunday and a service must have been going on in the church when quite bizarrely, a man led a beautiful white donkey out of the church and through the churchyard. He was apparently a prop in the church service. 

Anyway, back to praying at the well. I was weeping at the neglect of the place, not the well so much as the memory of a holy man that is so forgotten and who sacrificed so much for the sake of the Gospel. I began to see purple and royal blue in the realm of God's Spirit. Both are indicative of God's holiness and His Kingship. Although a deep peace covered and surrounded me there was a pervading sadness in my heart at the bustle of hedonism which seems to have taken over the village where such deep spirituality had once been lived out. No-one even noticed the well, let alone the significance of why it's situated there. I was led to pray that the ancient gates would swing wide and that the King of Glory would once more come in. 

Ancient cross st mawgan

Mawgan himself was a Welshman and associate of Cadoc and Breock. He founded a monastery on the site where the church now sits and preached to people from the site of the holy well. He also baptised people here. There are four Celtic crosses still in the churchyard. Looking on www.lidarfinder.com I'm intrigued to see that the northern bounday of the churchyard is part of a circle and is suggestive that this was indeed a 'lan', an early Celtic monastic site. 

Ancient cross st mawgan

After leaving St Mawgan's holy well, we travelled up the hill out of the village to visit St Jame's holy well another one in the vicinity. It was established by St Cadoc, Mawgan's companion. You can read about it in a separate write up.