Trelill Well sits in a quiet wooded valley that, at this time of year, is swathed in billows of cow parsley, campions and fox gloves.
This pretty well which was the first monument in Cornwall to be scheduled in 1922 (CO 1), was almost forgotten until quite recently. Dedicated to St Wendrona in 1423 it was known as Fenton Wendron and is typical of medieval structures of its type.
There are around 600 holy wells in the UK and surprisingly 200 of those can be found in Cornwall. Many of these ancient water sources have Christian associations but most have been sacred sites since pre-christian times. These venerated springs usually have interesting folk tales connected to them too.
According to tradition, it is bad luck to visit Trelill well without leaving a pin behind. A gift for the piskies apparently.
The other tale about this well involves some pesky wildlife. It is said that many moons ago the people of Wendron decided to build a new church. The building got underway and was nearing completion when one night a huge flock of crows descended. By morning the birds had removed nearly all the stones from the new church, except the porch, which then became the holy well.
In recent years Trelill Well had fallen into serious disrepair and was in danger of collapse. But luckily the building, which is made of killas stone, was extensively restored by volunteers between 2011 and 2013. (Killas is a Cornish mining term for a metamorphic rock of sedimentary origin.)
Trelill is now a peaceful spot for a picnic, although watch your step, the ground is often marshy even in summer because of the rising spring, and the piskies would love to see you fall in!
If you liked this you might also like: Figgy Dowdy’s Well – Carn Marth