St Nonna’s Well, Cornwall, UK
Location: OS: SX2243981533
St Nonna was the mother of St David, the patron saint of Wales. There are conflicting legends about her but it seems she conceived St David out of wedlock and possibly by being raped. Not much else is known of her life directly except she travelled in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany where she died.
St Nonna’s holy well in Cornwall is a very special place. Perched at the top of an incredibly steep field, it looks out over the West Looe River and across to the wooded hillside opposite . It’s an idyllic pastoral scene. The well is approached down a flight of steep granite steps at the bottom of which is a small well enclosure. The outlet stream from the spring bisects the enclosure before tipping down the steep field. The wellhouse is beautiful and in good order, someone is clearly caring for the enclosure as the grass was recently cut. Inside there is a round granite bowl which was entirely covered by green liverwort plants making it feel ethereal. The whole place is wonderful.
We sat praying outside the well house, looking over the fields and it felt as though we had literally stepped outside of time. A deep peace immediately wrapped around me, enveloping me and stilling any restlessness. Words seemed unnecessary as I sat and communed with God. We were just being together, and no words were necessary- that deep place of peaceful solitude in the presence of Almighty God. This is a place of deep rest, of holiness, of peace, solitude and a rare ‘thin place’ where heaven and earth seem to meet. It’s easy to worship and enter His presence. The only sounds are that of birdsong and wind in the trees. It is timeless.
I was led to pray that the deposit of St Nonna in the Spirit realm would be uncapped and the detritus of centuries be washed away by the purity of the deposit of God of Jesus Christ that is here and that gold of His presence would once more flow out. I immediately saw the outlet stream turn to a river of flowing gold. As I’m praying I feel weeping at the wasted time of those who come here to the water, drawn by the spirituality but unwittingly venerating things which miss the true heart of God that is here waiting for them, that heart of divine Love.
After a while I become aware of the angel who guards the well. It is an angel about 15’ high, cream clothing and they carry peace, serenity, gentleness and compassion.
I think this is one of the most special holy wells I’ve visited in terms of the deep presence of God and as a ‘thin place’. It is only slightly marred by the litter of things left behind by newagers within the well. It’s sad to find it here, in this holy and beautiful place of God.
If you are trying to find the well using the ordinance survey coordinates, walk up the lane signed Hobbs Park, which is on a hairpin bend. The well is shortly on your right and well signed.