Ancient, mysterious, and fascinating in their varied forms, the holy wells in these photographs range from almost invisible rock-strewn holes to startling rocky outcrops. Historical notes and selected poems by such authors as Rowen Williams and R. S. Thomas are used to explain the significance of the 42 wells featured, which were originally used in pagan rituals before they were attached to early Christian churches. Commercialized spas and full-blown pilgrimage destinations, such as Holywell in northeast Wales, are also shown, along with an environmental message about protecting these fragile geological sites.
Trefor M. Owen’s seminal work educates, enlightens and entertains with a far-reaching yet accessible text, which paints a colourful and comprehensive portrait of a nation’s rich folk culture. The Customs and Traditions of Wales is an illuminating and engrossing insight into a subject that continues to unfold and develop in contemporary life. Despite an increasingly globalised society that has transformed local communities, folk customs are still practised and enjoyed the world over as people combine modern-day and historical rituals and embrace opportunities to learn about their past, and Owen’s influential study has maintained its relevance as customs change and evolve.
Celebrating the culture and landscape of Cornwall, England, this collection presents the sacred wells of the region through stunning color photographs and informative text. Trekking though densely wooden terrain and into ancient churches, this volume features dozens of preeminent Cornish wells and the legends and history associated with them. Unique and enlightening, this compilation demonstrates the Celtic influence on towns and villages through the nomenclature of wells and places of worship and further highlights the sacred wells through poetry—composed by renowned writers, including Robert Southey and Arthur Quller Couch.
New Photographs and Old Tales of Our Sacred Springs, Holy Wells and Spas
Author: Phil Cope
Author and photographer Phil Cope takes us on a journey through the sacred wells of Wales, from the Anglesey to the Gwent. On his way he discovers wells in city centres and, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere -on mountainsides, in deserted valleys, on the coast, in sea caves. They include healing wells, cursing wells, and wells named for saints, Satan, witches, angels, fairies, friars, nuns, hermits, murderers and hangmen. Cope's atmospheric photographs are accompanied by folk tales, myths and legends, conversations with well-keepers and poems inspired by Welsh wells.Wales has an abundance of wells both in the natural state and domesticated for private or civic use. Published in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy's Living Wells project, this book is a guide to sites of historic interest important to Welsh identity which have been hidden and neglected in town and countryside, and which now have new life as a result of the project. Packed with colour photographs, including some of long-forgotten wells now rediscovered, The Living Wells of Wales is the new definitive volume on a subject gaining a new popularity.The Living Wells of Wales is a new title in the Holy Wells series, and is preceded by volumes on Scotland, Cornwall and the Borderlands.
New Photographs and Old Tales of Sacred Springs, Holy Wells and Spas of the Wales-England Borders
Author: Phil Cope
Publisher: Seren Books/Poetry Wales PressLtd
Phil Cope journeys through the borderlands of England and Wales, from Cheshire to Monmouthshire, the Dee to the Severn. His discoveries are recorded in striking, atmospheric photographs, accompanied by the remarkable histories of the wells and the legends attached to them. A lavishly illustrated guide to sacred wells in the contested lands between England and Wales from prehistoric times to today, pagan to Christian, with diversions into the Roman occupation and the commericial spas of modern times. The border country between Wales and England is a fertile place in many senses. Settled for millennia, one of the few links we have with early man here are their surviving pagan, pre-Christian wells. Sacred wells have played an important part in the culture and landscape of the region, and continue to do so. Following his books on wells in Wales and Cornwall, Phil Cope journeys up and down the borderlands, and through history from pre-Christian times through Roman and early Christian times, the medieval Age of the Princes in Wales and on to Victorian and the contemporary period. His discoveries are recorded in striking and atmospheric photographs which are accompanied by the remarkable histories of the wells, and the legends attached to them. Wronged suitors, magic horses, Dark Age battles, the reign of King Arthur, and innumerable decapitations feature among the vividly magical tales. Alongside them rests a different kind of magic in the healing wells of the Christian saints, some of which are also sources of prophecy. As the centuries past healing mutated into health and the development of the spa, until, in the twentieth century a full circle was turned and wells once again acquired a pagan significance. Richly illustrated in colour throughout the wells from Cheshire to Monmouthshire, from the Dee to the Severn are here displayed in all their glory, be they in remote countryside or city centre.
Author and photographer Phil Cope takes his camera on a journey through the sacred wells of Scotland from the Borders to the Orkney Islands. On his way he discovers wells in city centres and, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere - on mountainsides, in deserted valleys, on the coast, in sea caves. They include healing wells, cursing wells, and wells named for saints, Satan, witches, angels, fairies, friars, nuns, hermits, murderers and hangmen, even a well of the dead. His luscious and atmospheric photographs are accompanied by folk tales, myths and legends, conversations with well-keepers and poems inspired by Scottish wells. Scotland has an abundance of wells both in the natural state and domesticated for private or civic use. Here are wells in the middle of Glasgow, and on desolate mountains; they may be attached to Christian churches or places of pilgrimage for pagans; sites of historic interest importance to Scottish identity or hidden and neglected in town and countryside. This is the first book on Scottish wells for more than thirty years, and the first to be so lavishly illustrated. Holy Wells: Scotland is a further title in the Holy Wells series, and is preceded by volumes on Wales, Cornwall and Borderlands.
Land is embedded in a multitude of material and cultural contexts, through which the human experience of landscape emerges. Ethnographers, with their participative methodologies, long-term co-residence, and concern with the quotidian aspects of the places where they work, are well positioned to describe landscapes in this fullest of senses. The contributors explore how landscapes become known primarily through movement and journeying rather than stasis. Working across four continents, they explain how landscapes are constituted and recollected in the stories people tell of their journeys through them, and how, in turn, these stories are embedded in landscaped forms.
Features of this Rough Guide to Wales include thorough coverage of Wales' mountain walks, pointers on alternative culture in Wales, Welsh environmental issues and Welsh nationalism. This new edition features more maps, walks and lesser known beaches.