British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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St. Nun's Well

St. Nun's Well

One of the many of Cornwall's holy wells, it is said that St. Nun's in the simplest and prettiest.  It is set into a bank at the top of a grassy meadow that banks steeply down to the valley of the river Trelawne.  The water trickles down from a facade of drystone into a large granite bowl.   It was dedicated to St. Nonna, mother of St. David the patron saint of Wales.  

But the well has much older legends attached to it.  It was first known as the 'well of the piskies' (Cornwall equivalent of pixies/fairies).  In the 19th century many dozens of bent pins could be found in the basin "to get the good will of the piskies."

One tale attached to the well was a warning to never disturb the stones.  A long while back an old farmer was very keen on using the basin that the water was caught in for use in his pigsty.  He pulled up his oxen to the well and attached his chains around the basin and tried to haul it out.  For quite some time the basin never budged but the farmer kept at it slowly worked it up and when he was nearly at the top of the hill, the basin popped out and burst its chains and went rolling back down to the well, making an angle to find it's former place.  He was punished on the spot.  His oxen fell dead right then and there and he was struck lame and speechless.  After that, no one would ever dare to try to move the stone again.