Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/87

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Sacred Wells in Wales.

parish of Llanfaglan, Carnarvonshire ; but such does not appear to have been the case. The well is situated in an open field to the right of the road leading towards the church, and close to it. The church and churchyard form an enclosure in the middle of the same field. Mrs. Roberts, of Cefn-y-coed, near Carnarvon, has kindly supplied me with the following information : —

"'The old people who would be likely to know anything about Ffynnon Faglan have all died. The two oldest inhabitants, who have always lived in this parish (Llanfaglan), remember the well being used for healing purposes. One told me his mother used to take him to it, when he was a child, for sore eyes, bathe them with the water, and then drop in a pin. The other man, when he was young, bathed in it for rheumatism ; and until quite lately people used to fetch away the water for medicinal purposes. The latter, who lives near the well, at Tan-y-graig, said that he remembered it being cleaned out about fifty years ago, when two basins-full of pins were taken out, but no coin of any kind. The pins were all bent, and I conclude the intention was to exorcise the evil spirit supposed to afflict the person who dropped them in, or, as the Welsh say, dadwitsio. No doubt some ominous words were also used. The well is at present nearly dry, the field where it lies having been drained some years ago, and the water in consequence withdrawn from it. It was much used for the cure of warts. The wart was washed, then pricked with a pin, which, after being bent, was thrown into the well.

"'There is a very large and well known well of the kind at Clynnog, Ffynnon Beuno[1] (St. Beuno's Well), which was considered to have miraculous healing powers ; and even yet, I believe, some people have faith in it. Ffynnon Faglan is in its construction an imitation, on a smaller scale, of St. Beuno's Well at Clynnog.'"

T. E. Morris.

2, Brick Court, Temple, E.C.

  1. This is the local pronunciation ; but we should expect to find Ffynnon Feuno. So Ffynnon Gwynwy (p. 59, above) might mean either 'Gwynwy's' or 'Cwynwy's Well'.