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Sacred Springs

6 7 Just northwest of Penzance, the small village of Madron has one of the most famous wells in Cornwall, found at the end of an atmospheric wooded pathway. A rag bush marks the well. This is a tree hung with many colourful scraps of cloth left by visitors, and these can be seen at many wells. In the past, a pilgrim seeking healing would soak a rag from their clothing in the water and tie it to the tree. As the rag rotted away, so their disease would leave them. Nearby is a pretty ruined baptistry, where the clear water from the well runs into one corner. Children brought for healing were dipped in the well three times, then taken round it sunwise, east to west, nine times. The number of times an action must be performed was very significant see page 52. Madron is also a well used for divination. In this instance, maidens would float a straw cross on the water to tell when they would marry see too page 44. The water of holy wells could be usefully consulted to divine how long a person might live, what the weather would be or even if husbands were faithful. Nearby is the delightful holy well at Sancreed, which is also marked by a rag bush, and Nanceglos Well, near the entrance to Trenwainton Gardens. On the magical St Michaels Mount is the Giants Well, said to be where the giant Cormoran died, which is also known as Jack the Giant Killers Well. mADRON WEll West Penwith, Cornwall
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