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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/69

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61
Sacred Wells in Wales.

were the words of this writer, whose name is unknown to me; but I guess him to have been a native ot Carnarvonshire, or else of one of the neighbouring districts of Denbighshire or Merionethshire. To return to Myrddin Fardd, he mentioned Ffynnon Cefn Lleithfan, or the Well of the Lleithfan Ridge, on the eastern slope of Mynydd y Rhiw, in the parish of Bryncroes, in the west of Lleyn. In the case of this well it is necessary, when going to it and coming from it, to be careful not to utter a word to anybody, or to turn to look back. What one has to do at the well is to bathe the warts with a rag or clout which has grease on it. When that is done, the clout with the grease has to be carefully concealed beneath the stone at the mouth of the well. This brings to my mind the fact that I have, more than once, years ago, noticed rags underneath stones in the water flowing from wells in Wales, and sometimes thrust into holes in the walls of wells, but I had no notion how they came there.

In the cliffs at the west end of Lleyn is a wishing-well called Ffynnon Fair, or St. Mary's Well; where, to obtain your wish, you have to descend the steps to the well and walk up again to the top with your mouth full of the water. Viewing the position of the well from the sea, I should be disposed to think that the realisation of one's wish at that price could not be regarded as altogether cheap. Myrddin Fardd also told me that there used to be a well near Criccieth Church, in Eifionydd, West Carnarvonshire. It was known as Ffynnon y Saint, or the Saints' Well, and it was the custom to throw keys or pins into it on the morning of Easter Sunday, in order to propitiate St. Catherine, who was the patron of the well. I should be glad to know what this exactly means. Lastly, a few of the wells in that part of Gwynedd may be grouped together and described as oracular. One of these, the big well in the parish of Llanbedrog in Lleyn, as I learn from Myrddin Fardd, required the devotee to kneel by it and avow his faith in it. After this was duly done, he might proceed in this wise: to ascertain