Sacred & Absurd: Votive Offerings at the West Penwith Holy wells

By William Arnold

In pre-history the holy wells of West Penwith would have first provided a source of fresh water. Traditions of hydromancy: divination and healing attached themselves to the sites which became venerated for the ‘genius loci’ or resident spirit of the place. The traditions were assimilated by the early Christian Church – the wells being dedicated to various saints.

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